San Francisco: Social networking giant Facebook is reportedly developing a software tool to surpass censorship and get back into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, media reported.
According to The New York Times, the censorship tool “suppresses users’ posts from appearing in the News Feed in designated geographic areas”.
Facebook has been banned in China since 2009.
The new feature prevents content from appearing in feeds in China in the first place.
Facebook does not intend to suppress the posts itself. Instead, it would offer the software to enable a third party — in this case, most likely a partner Chinese company — to monitor popular stories and topics that bubble up as users share them across the social network, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Facebook’s China partner will then have full control to decide whether those posts should show up in users’ feeds.
“We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country,” a Facebook spokeswoman was quoted as saying.
In March, Alibaba Group Holdings’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma discussed with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about innovation at the China Development Forum held in Beijing.
Zuckerberg, trying to get a market share of nearly 1.4 billion Chinese population, is liked by the locals despite Facebook being banned in the country. He was seen jogging in downtown Beijing’s notorious smog earlier.