Many people rely on social media applications for their daily communication and entertainment needs today. Some of the most popular international social media applications include Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter, and they are used by billions of users from all over the world. One country that has prohibited the use of these popular sites within its boundaries is China. In an effort by the government to exert greater control over the internet, these popular international social media sites have been banned.
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The Chinese government has made use of sophisticated internet censoring technologies that enable it to disrupt services from the international social media applications. This internet censorship has had a negative effect on the Chinese who are denied the chance to enjoy the various benefits of social networking. The people in China feel inconvenienced and isolated because of their inability to use popular international social media services.
The Chinese people are greatly inconvenienced by the blocking since it prevents them from enjoying the social benefits users of international social media applications typically enjoy. The major reason why social media services have become very popular over the past decade is because of the many communication benefits they provide to the users. People are able to share media content and engage with each other easily regardless of their geographical separation.
Social media applications such as Facebook play a major role in event organization by enabling people to inform others of upcoming events with relative ease. People are also able to keep in touch with the help of these applications. Due to the social media restrictions, the Chinese are prevented from staying in touch with the rest of the world. Social media services have become an important means of sharing news over the last decade.
Through applications such as Twitter and Facebook, people are able to report on events in their location. These user generated news reports are an important source of information for many people. By blocking the social media services in China, the government makes it impossible for its citizens to stay tuned to the rest of the world. Jacobs reports that this is especially frustrating for individuals who have special interest in the events happening at various regions and journalists operating in China (2).
The blocking activities by the Chinese government effectively prevent citizens from utilizing international social media applications for economic functions. Social media plays a role in helping businesses advertise their products and expand their markets. Businesses are able to present customized advertisements to users based on their social media habits.
In addition to this, a company can improve its visibility in the marketplace through social media. Li-Chuan reveals that international social networking sites provide a channel for establishing a brand-consumer relationship (821). The social media platform can be used for growing brands and ensuring the success of businesses. A report by Bloomberg indicates that sites such as Facebook help local companies expand in the international market (2).
Research and development is also hampered as the ability of the Chinese to engage in scientific progress is curtailed by government blocking. Social networking media promote innovation by making it possible for people to easily collaborate on projects. The global scientific community has made use of social media to research and collaborate with each other on important projects. Jacobs observes that Chinese scientists are unable to communicate with their peers due to the blocking of services such as Facebook and Gmail (2).
I have personally witnessed the inconvenience that blocking international social media causes. I have friends from different countries including China. Social media plays a major role in maintaining relationships with people who live far away from me. Applications such as Facebook and instagram ensure that friends are able to stay connected by providing an easy way for sharing mail, photos and videos. Due to the aggressive internet censoring by the Chinese authorities, I am unable to keep in touch with my friends in China.
The Chinese government uses firewalls that are configured to prevent access to social media services such as Facebook, twitter, instagram and flickr while in China. Due to this government interference, I cannot maintain contact with my friends from the country. This has a negative impact on our connection as we are unable to exchange information on subjects that interest us or easily keep in touch.
This paper set out to argue that the Chinese people feel inconvenienced and isolated due to the blocking of international social media by their government. The blocking is carried out primarily to ensure that the activities of the Chinese online can be monitored by the government and political dissent discouraged.
The paper has shown that while the sophisticated internet blocking technology enables the government to effectively monitor and have great control of the information available to its citizens, it greatly disadvantages the ordinary citizen. The Chinese government should therefore reconsider its blocking policies in order to ensure that its citizens can enjoy the many benefits of social media.
Bloomberg News. “Facebook says China consumers want service.” The Daily Herald. 2014. Web.
Jacobs, Andrew. “China Further Tightens Grip on the Internet.” The New York Times. 2015. Web.
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Li-Chuan, Evelyn. The Usage and Advertising Effects of Social Media in China. NY: Springer Science & Business Media, 2013. Print.