This is a two-part series on the censorship claims of Facebook’s Libra. Part two will discuss the role of ‘Fact’ and ‘Fiction’ in the case of the censorship claims of Facebook. Based on the arguments presented in the previous part, this article will assess whether the centralized digital asset that is Libra can ever be censorship-free.
Libra, if approved, could be the payment gateway for the entire world, bringing masses to the realm of digital assets, complete with blockchain and a wallet. Facebook will lead that gateway. Even with 27 other companies constituting the Libra Association and overseeing the internal governance of the project, Facebook will have undue power.
Facebook will have complete monopoly on the Calibra wallet and will be the ‘gatekeeper of the gatekeeper,’ of Libra and hence, complexities of the internal governance emanating from the Swiss-based Libra Association might not matter. The Menlo Park companies’ reach and restriction could spread far beyond California, far beyond Switzerland, and certainly far beyond Washington D.C.
As time passes, societies change and so does social perception. Social perception can not just diversify, but can also emerge to be divisive. Companies that are built on this social nexus will dissolve their ‘purity,’ the principles they were built on, into one that often takes the side of a particular camp. That usually relegates the other to the opposition. Facebook has done that before, and Facebook, with Libra in its arsenal, can do it again.
Libra, as it grows, will build a policy based on privately-curated ‘hate-speech,’ ‘defamation,’ ‘policial leanings,’ and other polarizing topics. Thus, an ideologically neutral, unbiased, and purely centralized digital asset is pure fiction.
Facebook’s Libra could be the the single-most powerful censorship tool in history.
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