Sacrificing Freedom to Appease ChinaDamien Moye
It seems Silicon Valley is in another moral crisis. Yes, there are the outrageous expenses. There is also the intense social/political divide they take part in. Furthermore, there’s the insane wealth gap. For instance, 8 men have more wealth than the bottom 50% of the world. Most of those 8 men are in technology. But there’s another. Why is Silicon Valley sacrificing freedom to appease China?
So here are some examples. Apple got rid of VPN (virtual private network) from their Apple stores in China. They did this because they want to appease China’s super strict cyber security laws. In other words, China citizens have little, if any, privacy rights online. Then there is Facebook. They let the ‘third-party’ China groups to censor content. So let’s say you post something on Facebook that’s ‘too controversial’. A government official can dig on your page and erase your post. It’s already happening. There’s the Cambridge University Press. They used to publish articles and scholarly journals on Chinese websites. Note that I say used to. Already, they’re pulling articles ‘too controversial’. This is what censorship is all about. Is this what Apple and Facebook want to support? Do they want to support sacrificing freedom to appease China?
Now I know what some of you will say. Facebook is a business. Apple is a business. China is one of the richest countries in the world. So it’s just business. Well, that’s one way to look at it. But it’s not the right way. Facebook and Apple could have used this opportunity to stand up to China and their online censorship policies. Did you know China is one of the worst offenders in blocking online freedoms? Apple and Facebook leaders could say to China, “Look. Either change your laws or you will lose out of billions of dollars”! China would listen. Money talks. They would get the message. But instead, they sacrificed freedom to appease China. Isn’t this totally wrong?