While the United States enjoys very few Internet regulations, other countries such as China do not have the privilege of uncensored websites. Thousands of websites are blocked either completely or partially, depending on a variety of government regulations and censorship laws.
Although there are ways for travelers on business to get around these bans, it can still be a hassle for those unaccustomed to such strict restrictions on the internet. The following are 5 popular websites that are banned in China:
Although Twitter has been banned in China for over three years due to political unrest, many Chinese people use it anyway. In fact, Twitter’s most active country is China. By using VPN tools, Internet users can “jump” the Great Firewall to access Twitter. It is also possible to post on the social media site via third-party apps that have not fallen under the government’s banned list.
Ultimately, Facebook is blocked to limit news from foreign countries and prevent political riots. The Communist Party of China deems it a necessary act to maintain social peace, although the government can post its own critical news. While China’s intentions are for the collective good, many people question the truth of China’s state controlled media and its motives.
The primary reason YouTube is restricted is it hosts harmful information about Chinese government. In particular, political propaganda that attacks China is spread. The Communist Party of China does not tolerate rebellious acts against the government, as its lack of freedom of speech prevents this. However, China is most notably recognized for restricting the site during times of ethnic turmoil in neighboring countries.
Google is only partially restricted in China, meaning a censored Chinese version is offered. Its search engine regurgitates filtered media to Internet users, and it cuts off access to thousands of websites and topics, particularly those related to surrounding countries. In addition to restricting the Google search engine, most Google services such as email, chat rooms, and blogs are strongly censored by Internet regulation centers. Chinese law also requires that any chatting service reveal all private or public conversations in addition to users’ personal information.
Like any blog in China, Blogspot is a potential source of destructive information. Although Google’s Blogspot uses a filter system to abide by Chinese laws, it is blocked nonetheless. Blogspot has been forbidden in China since 2009, denying them access to thousands of blogs from across the globe.
These five websites are not the only social media giants to have been blocked or restricted in China. Abiding by the laws of Chinese censorship can be difficult for any company to meet, but if a website does not meet government regulations, that website will eventually be blocked. It’s hard to say if China will ever lift its restrictions- they seem to firmly believe in “crowd control” and with such a massive population it can be assumed that the internet will only stir things up.