Another Country Blocks Social Media – A Challenge to International Social Media Marketing?

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Social media is truly an amazing tool for marketers to reach the worldwide audience. You can get the message out to the whole world in a matter of minutes. Well, not always. More and more countries today block social media sites. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter – the most popular social media sites in most of the world.

Last Thursday, March 27th Turkey banned YouTube, just few days after they banned Twitter. As the local elections are coming up, Turkish prime minister decided to block sources of information stream that can be harmful politically. The red flag for the Turkish government was a video leak of government officials discussing war attempts against Syria. Turkey is blaming Twitter, Facebook and YouTube as sites that distribute false information.

Prior to Turkey, few other countries decided to block social media:

China blocked Facebook in 2009, after the deadly Uighur riots. The government discovered that the activists were using Facebook and took over the control on the Internet.

North Korea restricts social media and provides very limited access to the Internet. It is not surprising due to Kim Jong-un’s dictatorial isolation of the country form the rest of the world.

Iran – Banned Facebook, Twitter, YouTube in 2009 also due to a political matter of opposing governmental groups.

Vietnam – In 2009 Vietnamese Facebook users reported that the site is not accessible.

Facebook was also banned from Pakistan, Syria, and Eritrea, while partial restrictions appeared in Egypt and Cuba.

Some of those countries may share restricted governmental principles, but the fact is that restrictions on social media are expanding globally. When you are thinking to spread the world on social media internationally, it’s good to research the political norms of this country and predict the direction of their regulations upon social media. Which country will be the next to block social media? Please share your thoughts in comments…

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