Oct 13


Communist leaders in China have recently blocked and banned social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram in light of the recent protests in Hong Kong. Protestors have been fighting for free elections, rather than being forced to choose from a predetermined ballot. These sites were shut down in order to prevent photos of the protests from flooding the Internet, in attempt to detain the conflicts going on within the city. Many living in mainland China are unaware of what is going on in Hong Kong due to strict government censorship. The hash tags and photo images of police attacking the protestors sparked government officials to block and prevent further media posting during this time in attempt to restrict access of information to other Chinese citizens. But this isn’t the first time China has censored Instagram, according to Stuff earlier this summer the Instagram app was removed from the android app store in china.” 
Social media has been extremely influential during recent political unrest around the world. Some examples include the use of social media to coordinate revolution during the Arab Spring according to Engadget.  Earlier in 2011, The Egyptian government restricted use of the Internet, SMS and other methods of communication in attempt to control the riots. In March,Turkey banned YouTube in order to prevent continued videos of government corruption from leaking to the public. At the time, Twitter was also banned, in attempt to presumably limit the spread of corruption videos and prevent informing Turkish citizens of such scandals. Activists in the Ukraine have been gaining attention by tweeting hash tags and photos encouraging thePresident to talk to the citizens and keep them informed. The movement was started by Maxim Savanevskij,according to Yahoo,who is encouraging the political figurehead to inform citizens of the reasons and motives behind the government’s actions. 
Censoring social media is just one example of Chinese government officials attempting to curtail awareness of the protests. Students and protesters have been creative when attempting to circumvent the communication cut offs. Using apps, such as FireChat, allows for protesters to communicate should the government cut off or restrict cellular data. This app allows people to communicate when there is no Wi-Fi or cellular data, and avoid firewalls. As of now Chinese government officials are attempting to contain the protest, and prevent the rest of China from knowing of the current turmoil through web restrictions.