LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Facebook is asked to solve problems of democracy in Asia

Nothing really new in my opinion, as the kind referral surmised.

Asia is now Facebook’s biggest user base. That has given the company unprecedented political sway across the continent, where it inadvertently shapes the media consumption of hundreds of millions of people. The impacts are amplified in the region because vast swathes of relatively new internet users turn to Facebook first as their primary gateway to the rest of the web. Meanwhile, it’s become clear that the attitudes and policies the Menlo Park-based company adopted when it was primarily a U.S. social network are inadequate, or even perilous, when applied in authoritarian states, fragile democracies, or nations with deep ethnic divisions.

More in Foreign Policy.

It seems to me the critics expect too much. When companies like Facebook keep their hand off, they are blamed by the proponents of rights and amity among ethnic groups. When they try to limit expression they also get blamed. Seems like deep engagement with the hard work of democracy and political literacy are what are needed. But this stuff may be too hard for the human rights warriors. Much easier to blame others for not using technology to build a society that is decent.

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