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Effects of Global Politics on Social Media

In designing for an initially American audience, it can be easy to overlook the different cultural, lingual, economic, technological, among other needs of adapting a design for the rest of the world. As the political rules are varied and constantly changing, even within the United States, it's important to stay on the balls of ones feet and adapt through multiple releases. Good thing for the waterfall approach.

My friend Brendan, who incidentally runs Party World Rasslin in Austin, posted this article about Internet censorship the other day:

China is essentially making it illegal to post online using a pseudonym and they are also cracking down on VPN use. This isn't a new direction from China but it is a new level of policy and enforcement than we have seen.

There are already a lot of sites blocked in mainland China. This seems like it will increase the use of state-sanctioned and monitored social media services , like Weibo, WeChat, and RenRen, and and decrease the use of global social media and marketplaces by Chinese citizens. With 1,388,233,000 smartphone users in China the ability to adapt to a tightly controlled marketplace has a big potential economic upside. Google has been going back and forth on that issue.

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