Mark Zuckerberg, Give Up on China Before You Embarrass Yourself Even More
In a box in my parents’ basement sits a videotape featuring perhaps the most embarrassing thing Mark Zuckerberg has ever done: dance to the Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” at our summer camp talent show. The second most embarrassing thing Zuckerberg has ever done? Prostrate himself to Beijing. And as the years go by and Facebook grows more mature, it’s becoming more painful to watch.
Zuckerberg blurbed Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping’s book “The Governance of China” — which one reviewer called “a mix of stilted Communist Party argot, pleasant-sounding generalizations, and ‘Father Knows Best’ style advice” — and displayed it on his desk when China’s then-Internet czar Lu Wei visited him in December 2014. In March 2016, he posted a picture of himself cheerfully running through Tiananmen Square, the site of the infamous June 1989 massacre. In November 2016, The New York Times revealed that Zuckerberg facilitated the development of a tool that would help Beijing censor Facebook. Zuckerberg even reportedly asked President Xi to give a Chinese name to his unborn daughter — a report that a Zuckerberg spokesperson denied.