Social media is one of the most effective platforms to share ideas and information to other people. This has become the reason for the success of Facebook, Instagram, snap chat and other social media companies. This is how the world works today. Resorting to the traditional way of sending out information such as mailing and word of mouth will no longer be effective in itself and will definitely overpower by the continuous development of technology. Social media has also become even more powerful than television and show business itself. People are in constant need to connect and share information with each other. This is also the reason why the government is giving a substantial amount of effort to prevent social media from sharing unreliable information, ensuring the credibility of the source. On the other hand, this not only the case in controlling the contents and features of social media platforms. Government entities also are concerned about how the citizens would patronize the administration with all the information that is seen online.
In China to be more particular, social media platforms face different obstacles in sharing information. They are always censored and even banned since China practices communism and protects its political position by controlling the release of information. It is widely known that the Chinese government also fabricates social media posts online for different political reasons, by omitting news information as well as adding information to divert the attention from sensitive topics such as the South China Sea conflict and the US standpoint on the Nanking Massacre. To start with, Instagram currently has limited use in China. Instagram recently added a new feature to the platform which is the posting of Instagram stories to show what has happened in the last twenty-four hours period. These stories in the form of videos can be saved and stored for future viewing. It is believed that this censorship was brought about by the ignited protest in Hong Kong which pushed for democracy as opposed to communism.
The multi-billion company Twitter is totally banned in China, allegedly for contributing to the Iranian revolution. In the US, Twitter has gained popularity due to the micro-blogging effect that it has provided its users. It allows users to send out information, random thoughts and news that just happened and quickly get a response from other users. It creates this common knowledge sharing between twitter account owners. Facebook, on the other hand, has attempted to enter the Chinese Market by building a good relationship with the Chinese government. Headed by Mark Zuckerberg, who himself speaks Chinese, Facebook has explored working its way around the censorship requirement of the Chinese government. However, this is not to happen anytime soon. Even google is banned in China. They have tried to transfer search traffic to HK and sometimes will be allowed access through the use of the Virtual Private Network or VPN. However, there are still cases that the censorship tool of the Chinese Government is still able to trace this traffic and block the activity altogether.
On the other hand, not all social media platforms are believed to be banned because of political reasons. There are other platforms that were banned solely because of protectionism – prioritizing Chinese companies over US companies in terms of sharing the market. These include snap chat and Pinterest. Pinterest does not even require users to post anything from their own files, it basically just compiles images in mood boards in order to organize these coming from different websites. It was reported that Chinese companies have created their own version of this platform which was why Pinterest was banned in China.