China blocks, then restores, LinkedIn in after pro-democracy posts

china-linkedinLinkedIn was shortly added to the ever-growing list of blocked sites in China. According to Bloomberg, comments posted on the site about the escalating Jasmine Revolutions were cause for the site, which was banned Thursday and accessible again on Friday. It “appear[ed] to be part of a broader effort in China going on right now, involving other sites as well,” LinkedIn spokesman Hani Durzy wrote in a statement. Durzy also revealed that it appears the service was restored on the Friday.

Last week, an account under the name of “Jasmine Z” created a discussion group revolving around the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt. The term Jasmine revolution is associated with the current sweeping uprisings that have been spurred by the Egyptian overthrow of its former dictator. There have already been whispers of these revolutions making their way to China, and Internet-circulated statements calling for activists to challenge the authoritarian government have been making the rounds. And this has naturally gotten the attention of the Chinese authorities, which has reportedly been keeping a closer eye and grip on its already extremely tightly surveyed Internet.

And apparently, LinkedIn is the latest victim of Chinese censorship. One of the comments from user “Jasmine Z” read, “After years of independent thinking, I am becoming a critical dissent dying for democracy, freedom and justice in my homeland.”

What’s more surprising than China blocking LinkedIn is that it restored access. Traditionally, when something makes China’s block list, it doesn’t make it off. Social media sites have been no exception to the rule, and Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Foursquare were all banned during times of political unrest.

While LinkedIn may be temporarily back in China’s good graces, the type of dialogue it was blocked for is bad news for Facebook. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the social networking site is interested in breaking through China’s firewall, and evidence of these communication platforms being used to question government authority isn’t reassuring. It means that only an extremely censored and government regulated version of Facebook could be instituted in China, which doesn’t really jive with the whole “open” thing Facebook has going on.

Of course it isn’t great news for LinkedIn either. The company just filed its IPO earlier this year and losing China’s growing Internet market would be a serious hit. LinkedIn is also a way for users to access Twitter, which played a significant role in the Egyptian and Libyan protests.

Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Social Media

Yep, it’s not just you. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are down for many

Facebook's family of apps has been suffering issues for much of the day. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook itself have been out of action for users around the world, with the company scrambling to sort it out.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.