When you go into Google and type in “why is Facebook banned in China?”, you’ll get a lot of weird answers.
Very few of the answers tell you anything close to the truth. They’re all lies.
In this article, I’ll tell you why there is so much misinformation online about decisions taken by the Chinese government.
But first, let me tell you why Facebook is banned in China.
The Chinese government has blocked citizens of China to access social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. The sole reason for this decision is because they are unable to control what is written between users on US-owned social media platforms. Instead, they force Chinese people to use Chinese platforms like Weibo, Wechat, and Youku.
All of these above-mentioned Chinese platforms are strictly regulated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Why do so many people lie about Chinese internet censorship?
Because the Chinese government figured out that it was a good idea to pay nationalists in order to spread misinformation online.
Do I sound like a conspiracy theorist to you now? 🙂
I understand your skepticicsm. But…let’s have a look at the facts.
In 2016, Harvard scientists conducted a large study about how the Chinese Communist Party infiltrate and destroy communication on social media platforms owned by companies in democratic countries. Among them: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
They found out that more than 448 million propaganda posts are being spread on “Western social media platforms” every year.
That’s more than 1,1 million fake propaganda posts….EVERY DAY!
Video: What is a “wumao” and how do they work?
The video below features two of my favorite “China Youtubers”.
In the video, they explain exactly who the people behind the 448 million propaganda posts are – and how they work.
Example: Facebook is banned in China…because?
So let me give you an example of fake information spread by Chinese people.
When you Google the term “Why is Facebook banned in China?”, these are the top results:
Let’s focus on number 3: Quora.
Quora is a forum where anyone can answer any question that people might be wondering about. So this is a perfect platform for someone to type in any information that they want – without necessarily be fact-checked.
The quora reply with the most views is written by what appears to be a Chinese person with the name Chen Zhigong:
In his response, he presents a lot of “facts” of why Facebook is banned in China.
As someone who has lived in China for several years, let me quickly explain why none of these “facts” are actually true! 🙂
Please following along, guys. This is juicy stuff.
Debunking “facts” about the Chinese Facebook shutdown
Let’s just start, shall we?
- #1: To control the information that their citizens can access is definitely the most important reason why China banned Facebook. There’s no doubt about that.
- #2: Absolute garbage. Not true at all. As someone who’s been a lot in China and Vietnam, I can quickly confirm that the political systems are extremely different. Vietnam does not block information from their people. China does.
Also…if China wouldn’t care so much about the political game on Twitter and Youtube – why do they pay nationalists to spam these platforms with 448 million posts a year?
- #3: Partly true. The Chinese government did indeed ban Facebook in 2009 after riots in Xinjiang. However, the Chinese government used that incident as an excuse to ban Facebook as they claimed they “did not get the information that they wanted”.
You can read the whole story on Abcnews.com.
- #4: Partly true. The fact that the CCP wants to develop their own social media platforms is not the real reason why Facebook/Twitter/Instagram is banned. However, the development of a large domestic online business is fueled by the ban of these “western social media apps”.
- #5: Haha! So you’re saying that Facebook isn’t banned in China because you can break the law by using a VPN and access Facebook? 😀 Amazing.
- #6: Not true. WhatsApp is better than Wechat. Twitter is better than Weibo. Facebook is 100 times better than QQ. The real reason why Chinese people don’t use these apps is simply that they are not allowed to.
Why is this article published on Sustainability Matters?
Usually, I wrote about stuff like plastic-pollution and product reviews of eco-friendly products that can be bought on Amazon.
However, I hate propaganda and lies. So when a friend of mine googled the term “Why is Facebook banned in China” – and he found misinformation: I had to do something.
Hopefully, people will find this article when they Google that term in the future. After all, I’ve spent some time writing about the truth.
Other related China articles
Don’t get me wrong, guys.
I love China.
To prove that, I’ve previously written a handful of related China articles that might be of your interest:
- How I survived a year in the Beijing pollution
- Review: Best books for learning Mandarin Chinese fast
- Top 10 great things China does for the environment (CCP will love this one…)
Twitter, Instagram & Facebook are the big ones who are banned in China.
In addition to that, they can’t download Skype anymore.
Many Chinese students that have been abroad and connected with foreign friends would love to access Facebook.
I’ve spoken to several of them. These people see “the great firewall” as a hindrance to connect with friends abroad.
Not at all.
If Facebook proposes some type of deal that would grant the Chinese Communist Party access to all information found on Facebook (including private messages) – then yes.
But let’s pray to God that something like this will never happen.