As is reasonably well-known, the Chinese government does not permit Facebook to operate in that country. Hand-wringing liberals use it as yet more evidence of the absence of ‘freedom’, ‘human rights’ and so on. Or they argue that the Chinese government is afraid of Middle-Eastern style rebellions, widely touted as ‘Facebook revolutions’. Of course, now that various Muslim political parties, headed by An-Nahda, are romping over the ‘free’ elections in Tunisia, and now that Libya is on track for the implementation of Sharia law, those liberals are a little less enthusiastic.

Back to Facebook: the curious assumption is that Facebook is a way to connect with anyone and everyone, without restrictions. If only it were so. Actually, that worthwhile social networking company was set up not to allow people to give vent to their inherent sociality. Instead, it was designed as a comprehensive way of gathering information on people – in a way that requires minimal work on the part of its owners. For we do it voluntarily, impulsively and with a gleeful intensity that makes all those marketing gurus weep with joy.

In short, everyone should follow China’s example, for such a company should not be allowed to operate anywhere (except maybe for six months, after which you close it down and appropriate all the profits for more worthwhile causes).

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