Social Media Briefing: Over the Great Firewall of China
In 2010 I lived in China for six months. During that time there were some incredible things, some tough things and some frustrating things – like the social media censorship.
Eight years later and my feelings about Facebook may generally be on the fence, but the idea of being denied access to the site still riles me.
Mark Zuckerberg and his team might be launching an under-the-radar bid to change that though, securing a licence to launch an innovation hub in the country to support Chinese tech.
“We are interested in setting up an innovation hub in Zhejiang to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups,” a Facebook representative told Reuters, referring to the Chinese province where Hangzhou is located.
The ban on the site comes after it was apparently used by activists which sparked riots in the country in 2009.
It also blocks other sites like Twitter, Google and WhatsApp, and famously only lets approved content behind the so-called 'Great Firewall of China'.
Facebook has been coy about the filing, saying it’s also created similar hubs in France, Brazil, India and Korea to focus on training and workshops.
Blogger defends ugly comments after going viral
A social media influencer in Kuwait has shot into the spotlight after her recent post about domestic workers gaining more rights.
At first this might sound like she’s celebrating the improvement (albeit minor) to human rights around the world, but she’s gained fame for another reason.
Sondos Alqattan posted an Instagram video to her 2.3m Instagram followers, sharing her frustration with new laws that give Filipino workers a day off each week and the right to keep their passports.
Unsurprisingly, the internet was quick to set Alqattan straight, although the blogger has said that the outcry she received was ‘unjustified’.
"I have not [in] any circumstances in present or past... degraded or in any way mistreated an employee of mine," she said on Tuesday.
"I consider all employees as equal human being."
In the follow-up post she mentions comments that have called her beautiful on the outside but not on the inside, thanking them for calling her beautiful and saying that they should meet her to get to know her.
On the one hand, of course it’s easy to judge someone by a single post on Instagram. On the other, the comments are fairly indefensible, and several beauty companies who previously had ties with the blogger have distanced themselves, sharpish.
The original video was posted earlier this month and includes gems like: "How can you have a servant at home who keeps their own passport with them?
“And what's worse is they have one day off every week. If they run away back to their country, who will refund me? Honestly I disagree with this law. I don't want a Filipina maid anymore."
In future, she should probably stick to talking about makeup.
Forget war with Iran, what about the chicken nuggets??
Donald Trump might be struggling with international relations at the moment, but social media users have made it clear he’s not the only person with problems.
No stranger to a Twitter row, earlier this week Trump warned Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani of ‘consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before’ after he tweeted that war with Iran would be ‘the mother of all wars’.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
The internet, as usual, has stepped up to the plate, with users sharing their woes using Trump’s tweet as a template.
To my local McDonald’s: NEVER, EVER FORGET MY EXTRA NUGGETS AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. I AM NO LONGER A MAN THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED STAFF MESSING UP MY ORDER & STUFF. BE CAUTIOUS!— s???¨???s ???? (@scrueggs) July 23, 2018
NEVER, EVER LEAVE THREE WEEK OLD YOGURT IN THE FRIDGE AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR FEMENTED FOODS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) July 23, 2018
As one user succinctly put it, ‘we laugh so we don’t cry’.
Mark Zuckerberg nearly fired himself on air
If you can admit you should be fired and get to keep your job you’re either carrying out some heavy-duty blackmail or you’re Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuck may have admitted that the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which has been placed at the heart of election tampering, referendum tampering and Russian interference in the West, was ultimately his fault – but that doesn’t mean anything’s going to get done about it.
In an interview with Recode, the 34-year-old recognised the issues with the platform, including its approach to the privacy of personal data.
When asked if anyone should be fired over the scandal, which potentially compromised the accounts of tens of millions of Facebook users, Zuckerberg said: “I designed the platform, so if someone’s going to get fired for this, it should be me.”
When asked if he would fire himself, Zuckerberg said: “Not on this podcast right now.”
The CEO, whose net worth is estimated at $77.6 billion, also said that its approach to ‘fake news’ would remain open-minded.
→ READ MORE: 'If anyone should be fired it should be me'