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Sharon Callix
10 countries where Facebook has been banned

SURFING THE WEB: Students in Cuba on their smartphones (PA)

IT SEEMS like the social media phenomenon has finally become so influential and popular that some countries are starting to see it as a threat to their political agendas because of the large amount of uprising that has become very common within the major networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Just recently the government of Turkey blocked the access to YouTube to the entire country. They had already banned Twitter earlier in the same month due to the amount of people who started to make comments against the way the government is running the country.

Turkey is not the first one to go against social media and there have been many internet protests that have worried a lot of governments. The social media outlets have the advantage of allowing people to say anything they want without them having to expose themselves directly to any harm. This is why the numbers of people speaking their mind is much higher when social networks are the method of communication.

China blocked the use of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter back in 2009. They banned the platforms due to a peaceful protest held by the Muslim minority that ended up in deadly riots that took place in Xinjiang. This social media websites are still blocked in most of the Chinese nation. Only locations such as the Shanghai Free Trade Zone are able to use the internet freely.

There are also reports that Vietnam has tried to block the use of Facebook but their method for this block is very easy to bypass and this allows plenty of people in the territory to continue to use the network. The Vietnamese government did pass a law that prohibited anti-government comments to be posted on this network and anyone who is caught doing this could face a trial.

Pakistan put a block on YouTube on September of 2012 after they demanded that a video with anti-Islamic content was removed from the network because it caused protest. This block remains active in 2014.

Iran has blocked the use of Twitter and Facebook permanently since 2009 and they also block YouTube most of the time. Other countries such as Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Cameroon have also blocked one or many of the major social networks at some point.

North Korea has a very restricted internet access too. This is something that has occurred in several other countries for a matter of a few days or even weeks. This kind of issue has gone as far as the arrest of a man in Morocco for creating a fake profile pretending to be the prince Moulay Ranchid. This is something that happens all the time in most western countries, with people creating rake profiles for humorous or derogatory reasons, but the usual action taken is to delete the account from the network.

The problem with this is that it takes the social development down quite a few steps and basically takes a country back in time. Still, the governments manage to get away with it. The main thing to realise here is just how powerful social media has become and how much can be accomplished when a large number of people use it.

This is wide spread power of communication something to consider when you are doing any kind of business promotion online too. The social networks have a right to exist because they allow the entire world to have a voice and everyone is able to share their opinions on anything they consider wrong. Let this constantly remind you of how much potential and influence is possible with the use of all these platforms.

Could you cope if the British government shut down Facebook?

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