Social Fanzine #18

Social Fanzine #18

With the world spiralling through the digital disruption, a lot keeps changing in the social scenario as well. And we, through our fanzine, aim to bring more to your screens keeping you abreast with all that’s rising and trending.

Starting with some bird-watching, we have news on the latest update by Twitter. The social channel has been a major platform for trolls to function in the most overwhelming way. Keeping the same under its consideration, the channel is tight-lining its security features to combat abusive behavior. It has very recently announced a “safe search” option to block potentially offensive tweets from users. Adding to the list is another update which does not let people view the replies on their threads by the accounts blocked by them. Which means, the users will only receive notifications from the people only if they haven’t been blocked or are followed by the user.

While Twitter is certainly trying to fight an effectual battle against trolls, its Chinese clone Weibo is also enjoying a breath of freedom. China its loosening its grip on the content being shared over the channel. But, before the celebrations roll out, the idea behind the same is crucial to understand. With more uncensored content being pushed on this channel with a monthly user-ship of 297 million, often there have been interactions around a certain illegal activity before or during such events, such as riots, and other acts of violence. This is certainly helping the officials tighten the security and catch a hold of the defaulters. It is not the first-time Social Media has been used as a community monitoring tool and is probably the reason why the liberty being bestowed upon Weibo by the ruling government is not really an act of Freedom of Speech.

However, in no way has it deterred the richest man alive, Microsoft Founder, Bill Gates. The famous philanthropist joined WeChat and made a short 30-second video addressing and welcoming Chinese netizens. Even though WeChat shares its DNA with WhatsApp and actively functions as a messaging app, it also maintains a short blog forum which is the feature that shall be used by Mr Gates predominantly as mentioned in his bio. With the likes of Selena Gomez, Backstreet Boys already present on the channel to engage with Chinese fans, Bill Gates in not the first or only Western Celebrity on WeChat. Though his presence does mark the importance it holds for the west to interact with the east.

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