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9 Nov 2021

Zholdas Orisbayev,

Kazakhstan: Facebook denies giving government permission to 'deal with' content on the site

Facebook caught up in Kazakhstan internet crackdown, 2 November 2021

Facebook parent Meta Platforms has denied a claim from Kazakhstan’s government that it has granted the authoritarian country special permission to “deal with” content on the site.

The dispute is casting fresh light on Kazakhstan’s efforts to control online activity. The country regularly prosecutes activists and opposition supporters for their social media posts. A draft law would go further, forcing foreign tech giants like Facebook to set up local offices and make local executives legally responsible for content...

Meta denied a role in the statement, saying it had not given Kazakhstan access to any special channel...

Adding to the confusion, after Meta denied having a role in the statement, George Chen, the company’s regional public policy director in Hong Kong, who led negotiations with Kazakhstan, shared a copy that had been published by Kazakh state media. The statement quotes Chen as saying, “We are delighted to provide the ‘Content Reporting System’ to the government of Kazakhstan, which we hope can help the government deal with harmful content in a more efficient and effective manner.” ...

[includes company response]