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Monday, November 22, 2010

Facebook’s new email service is censoring links to the Pirate Bay


Facebook’s new messaging system is meant to make it easy to move seamlessly between instant messages, SMSes and e-mail, but it’s also ready to censor your messages if you decide to link to file sharing sites.

To be fair, Facebook’s long been censoriously anti-piracy: try to post a link to The Pirate Bay on your wall or in a private message to your friend and see.

That said, as Facebook becomes a webmail portal, it’s surprising to see the social network try to exert even more control over the actual content of what’s being said in e-mail.

If you try to send an email to someone using Facebook’s new message system, and if that message has a link to the Pirate Bay, Facebook will unceremoniously refuse to say the message with the following error:

Message Failed. This message contains blocked content that has been previously flagged as abusive or spammy. Let us know if you think this is an error.

An error it is. There are numerous legal reasons to link to The Pirate Bay: for example, to link friends to your own copyright-free torrents. Moreover, as a messaging service, Facebook is actually exempt from liability if people share links to illegal download sites using their service, according to the EFF.

Mark Zuckerberg keeps on saying Facebook is all about being open and free, but how open and free can you be when you can’t even discuss certain subjects using Facebook’s system, lest you be automatically censored? If this is Zuckerberg’s vision of a free and open Internet, count me out.

25 comments:

The Lazy Geographer said...

Freedom without restriction isn't freedom at all. I learned that in an episode of Evangelion.

Suciô Sanchez said...

What kind of moron would trust Facebook with their email. Seriously. The whole idea is just a facepalm.

Steven Phan said...

yea they censored direct download links to known servers nowadays. -.-

Intellectual Relapse said...

wow... I never knew that, that's rather shocking, not that I ever post torrent links anyway

Gansita said...

They should put the Pirate Bay link in a text-upload link. Or in a picture, lol. I'm not sure if Pirate Bay is a legal website, I mean, with legal content =)

Dan said...

Yep. I don't like Facebook. Another bullet point in the giant list of cons.

Zoy said...

Facebook's lawyers probably persuaded the people in charge to implement this censorship system.
One more reason not to use Facebook.

Witdarkstar said...

Eh. It's just another way for facebook communication.I I'd rather keep my email and facebook separate personally.

The Informant said...

Now that is total bullshit. I have stuff on Pirate Bay that is my own (like my techno music and the Information Library) that I link people to.

I'm also an advocate of trying before buying and most of the time when I download something I end up getting rid of it because it just sucked. This is more true when it comes to phone apps.

Home Alone Stoned said...

that was a good read

kokojesta said...

hmmm fair enough, with fbs privacy issues they probly wanna stay clear of any other potetial problems too :S

ImmaFrog said...

splendid info

erica said...

Thanks for sharing this info! I didn't realize that FB was censoring like this... That is bs. Following you.

Come At Me Bro said...

It's starting!

Donkote said...

another reason for me to not use facebook

Gurney said...

Yeah thats some trash right there.

Digger said...

lol, facebook's futile attempt at raising their image

Kichuwa said...

Facebook is dumb.

The Game Store Guy said...

It's interesting that facebook is taking that stance with Pirate Bay. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that Pirate Bay has been misused by the, well, pirating community. But at the same time it has also provided a very easy to use portal for individuals sharing non-copyrighted programs and info. It seems that a better method is in order. Perhaps a service akin to Rapidshare that notices and blocks copyrighted materials?

jura1991 said...

you made me think about it..

Mark said...

That's pretty inane: There are tonnes of reasons you may need to use a file-sharing service legitimately. What if you're working on a rather large project with someone who is on the other side of the country and using torrents is the only way you can quickly transfer data from one another? Or any other number of reasons?

Eugh, I suppose you could always use services like tinyurl to get around this, but that does leave you open to tinyurl addresses that lead to harmful sites...

iRetiv said...

facebook is starting beef...

Brandon said...

That's pretty lame, and kind of a lame stance. I agree that Facebook would be exempt from liability so it doesn't make much sense.

L0ner said...

Facebook open and free? You are kidding me, right? If facebook wanted to be open and free it wouldn't even look at what we are writing, but not only. First thing to become "open" is to become open source and let us know what it looks like inside. Facebook can be free, but not entirely, open it isn't.

Ratch said...

this sucks :(

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