I know you guys might be astonished that I couldn’t use Facebook or Google when I’m back to my country, Mainland China, which is one of the very few countries that deny access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Google. In Mainland China you can’t access to the Chinese Wikipedia page. Even though LinkedIn has its place on Chinese networks, it’s still facing challenges of localization. So what’s wrong with social media that such a huge country like China won’t open its door to the most popular social media across the world?
Here’s my own opinion. Social media like Facebook is so open. Facebook has long been looking into Chinese market because the population of more than 13 billion can never be neglected. But Facebook gets rejected by Mainland China because Facebook won’t agree to some specific part of operation regulations in China. You might think that your Facebook environment is good, but there’s some information on this platform that is too sensitive. Such information can extend to political level which may cause to unrest within the whole country (the situation in China may be quite different from that in most western countries and thus some extreme political comments are not allowed online), and can also be social bully, which has cause a lot of losses in China. What’s more, social media like Facebook and Twitter are so open that they are even a method for ISIS to promote itself or even recruit, and it’s said that at first those social media just banned the bloody or violent model, but didn’t put them off immediately. If such thing spreads to China it will be a big threat to its safety.
Therefore, Chinese government sets really strict online regulation. To some extent, it’s indeed not open, but however it does protect a lot, especially concerning that China has such a huge population. But I just can’t help thinking what’s wrong with social media? Is it too open?
I’m not complaining that I can’t access to those social media in Mainland China even though it has its own secret sorrow, instead I quite understand why my country is doing so. However, if social media is not open as it’s right now, is it still social media of this age? We love sharing and connection, and in the meanwhile we also respect equality, privacy, and the culture of communication. But where is the future of social media? It seems flawless because we rely on it too much, so how can it be better if similar problems to China will spread worldwide?
Recently, news has come out that Facebook will step into China soon. Will the Facebook in China be the same as you guys see in western countries? Will the cooperation between Facebook and China improve social media’s drawbacks and make it better, or will Facebook withdraw just like Wikipedia and Google? Will it be open as usual? I don’t know. We don’t know.