Facebook, to Censor or Not?

Tough Choices in China

By: Halla Congress

What would you pay to have access to the world’s largest internet and mobile market? Facebook is going through this same dilemma right now even after creating tools to censor contents on it’s site and all for the one and only – China.

However, other United States companies have done things such as this to gain access into the Chinese market. For example, the most recent and popular happens to be Google. Google was censoring search engine results for a decade before calling it quits and withdrawing from their market in 2010. They decided to direct their searches through Hong Kong, where business really thrived.

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WeChat and Weibo are pretty popular social media sites in China. Will Facebook take the leap and compete with these rivals or back off and stick to what they know? One major question lies – will audiences gravitate towards Facebook? Most Chinese already have large audiences and engagement with these brands so why start over with another? These Chinese messaging sites and companies already have a large engagement with US users as well so they seem to be in the lead.

Facebook will have to accept the challenge of leaping over rival competitors and build a network of regular users in China. If the company does move forward and take this on, it means that Chinese users will have another highway to mingle with friends overseas and more. The tool Facebook has developed, apparently blocks political news and can target certain geographical areas. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s leader has not kept it a secret that he wants to have his company unblocked in China. He has gone to great lengths by learning Mandarin, made several visits and met with their internet leaders. All that’s next is deciding to follow other American brands by censoring content to get full access or not getting entry at all. What will you predict he will do?

Resources

Forbes Magazine

 

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism