Anti-social media

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You can’t use Facebook in China and the fact that it is prohibited would suggest that one of the Party’s official newspapers, the People’s Daily, would steer clear of using it. Not so. In fact it has been boasting about how popular it is on the social media platform. In June, website Techweb reported that staff from the newspaper had announced during the China-Russia Media Forum that the People’s Daily had 4.6 million global ‘likes’ on Facebook (the figure has since grown to 5.9 million). China Economic Weekly earlier reported that a senior team from the newspaper had even visited Facebook’s headquarters in May to better understand how to utilise the platform. Not everyone was impressed, with Hong Kong’s Apple Daily accusing the Party mouthpiece of “shameless” hypocrisy and reporting that netizens in China had ridiculed the celebration of its Facebook presence. One widely forwarded post mocked both the rather turgid newspaper and China’s Great Firewall – a web censorship system which prevents netizens from accessing prohibited sites. It asked (very much tongue-in-cheek): “Why do Chinese people like to climb over the wall [to use Facebook]? In order to read the People’s Daily.”

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