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What Facebook and China Have in Common

December 23, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Facebook’s recent decision to ban online gambling ads on its huge social media network has made a large splash in the online gambling media news. And, interestingly, the site’s decision to do this has meant sharing headlines recently with another (shall we say somewhat less popular) party also cracking down on online gambling: The Chinese government.

China has recently implemented new laws that let it control more Internet sites by tightening control on domain name registrations. These new rules require Chinese “telecom companies and Internet service providers to carry out ‘complete and thorough’ checks to determine if Web sites are officially registered. Any Web sites that have not registered with the ministry should be taken off the Internet, the order says,” according to the Associated Press. (Read the AP article here.)

But, as with the Australian government’s similar plans for Internet censorship, these new rules “have the potential to freeze out thousands of legitimate Web sites by creating a pre-approved ‘whitelist’ of sites,” and could bleed over into sites like Youtube and Twitter.

For its part, Facebook is removing all online gambling and poker ads from its site, as well. In doing so, it places gambling on a list of frowned-upon content that includes tobacco, adult content, and firearms. (And, for some reason, dairy products are on this list, much to the bewilderment of the dairy industry. For the lighter side of this story, click here.)

Facebook’s free casino games are not expected to be removed. Also, casino-oriented groups and fan pages will be allowed to remain. Read more at the Off Shore Gambling Association’s website.