Why Facebook is Banned in China Essay

Total Length: 694 words ( 2 double-spaced pages)

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Facebook is still banned in China, which took initiatives in 2009 to quell any sort of protest or governmental opposition sparked by social media sites like Facebook. Facebook is not the only Western site to be banned in China. Moreover, it has essentially a lookalike Chinese competitor known as Renren, which is a social media site that operates just like Facebook but complies with the Chinese government’s regulations with regard to the filtering of content posted on the site (Darwell, 2012). China’s government is very concerned about regulating content published on the Internet since this is such an impactful platform for communicating and spreading information in the Digital Age. For a government that wants total control of every aspect of the country’s life, allowing Facebook to have the freedom to come in and allow users to post whatever content they want without regulating or filtering it would be like allowing a Trojan Horse in through the city’s gates.

And yet Facebook is not completely opposed to filtering content—not anymore. Since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, the left-leaning Zuckerberg has decided to start filtering “fake news” from the site (Snider, 2017). But what constitutes fake news for Facebook might not constitute fake news for all of its users.
In short, Facebook is embarking on the kind of content regulation strategy that China demands of its social media providers in the East. Is this a step towards Facebook getting China to agree to let the social media giant into the country? By initiating the regulation of content in the West first, does Facebook preempt the attacks that critics might make when it agrees to regulate content in the East?

The Chinese market is a coveted market for companies in the West. They see the number of consumers in China and their eyes light up with dollar signs, spurred by thoughts of the increased revenue that the Asian market could bring in. Penetrating that market has not been the easiest venture, however, and many companies have failed to gain a foothold. From tech companies like Apple to Internet companies like Google and Facebook, China has been a difficult road to travel. But if Zuckerberg can begin the content-regulatory process demanded by China—and begin at home in the U.S.—it could ostensibly and easily engage in the same process in China without fear….....

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Darwell, B. (2012). China’s Renren social network copies Facebook timeline. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/digital/chinas-renren-social-network-copies-facebook-timeline/

Love, D. (2011). 17 people who were fired for using Facebook. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-fired-2011-5

Snider, M. (2017). Facebook aims to filter more fake news from news feeds. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/06/30/facebook-aims-filter-more-fake-news-news-feeds/440621001/

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