Earlier this month, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed that his social network, used by millions, was a free-speech zone.
"As I reflect on the attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject – a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world," the behoodied one posted on his own site at the time.
"I won't let that happen on Facebook. I'm committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence. My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage. #JeSuisCharlie"
A month after that statement, Facebook pulled a Turkish user's page after it displayed an image of Mohammed taken from French satire mag Charlie Hebdo, after a court in Turkey ruled that it infringed a local law which forbids representations of the prophet being displayed.
A well-placed source familiar with the matter said Facebook had to block content so that it's no longer visible in Turkey following a valid legal request from the court. The single page is now offline in the country, but can be viewed outside of the state's borders.
This isn't the first time the company has been accused of kowtowing to local laws at the expense of free speech. In November, Facebook removed a notice from Putin critic Alexei Navalny after Russian internet regulators requested the censorship.
In Zuckerberg's post on the Hebdo atrocity, he made it clear Facebook follows local laws in the countries it operates in. But we live in times when you can be flogged a thousand times for posting something on the social network, and some in Silicon Valley are disappointed the moneybags firm is not doing more to stand up for free speech. ®
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