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9 Nov 2021

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Kazakhstan: Facebook grants government access to its internal content-reporting system, raising fears about censorship and prosecution

Kazakhstan Granted Access To Facebook's Content System To Flag 'Harmful Content', 1 November 2021

Kazakhstan has obtained access to Facebook's internal content-reporting system after the two sides came to an agreement -- the first of its kind in Central Asia -- that will allow the government to remove content it deems "harmful."

The joint agreement between Kazakhstan and Facebook owner Meta Platforms, announced on November 1, comes after the country threatened to block the social-media giant's millions of local users.

"Facebook has provided Kazakhstan direct and exclusive access to Facebook's 'Content Reporting System' (CRS) which can help the government to report content that may violate Facebook's global content policy and local laws of Kazakhstan," the sides said in a joint statement...

In mid-September, Kazakh lawmakers approved the first reading of a bill that would have obliged Facebook and other foreign-owned social networks to register in Kazakhstan and set up representative offices there, where hundreds of opposition and human rights activists have been prosecuted for their postings on social media, especially when expressing support for the banned Koshe (Street) party and the associated Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan (DVK) movement...