Trump ‘will tweet what he wants’ inside China’s Great Firewall

US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, center, are greeted as they arrive on Air Force One in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 08 November 2017
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Trump ‘will tweet what he wants’ inside China’s Great Firewall

BEIJING: President Donald Trump will not curtail his notorious Twitter missives during his visit to China even though the social media platform is blocked by a “Great Firewall,” a US official said Wednesday.
“The president will tweet whatever he wants,” the senior White House official told reporters aboard Air Force One shortly before Trump landed in Beijing.
“That’s his way of communicating directly with the American people. Why not? So long as he can access his Twitter account, because Twitter is banned in China along with Facebook and most of the other social media.”
The official assured, “I’m sure we’ve got the gear aboard this airplane to make it happen.”
China monitors people’s Internet habits and blocks websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google in the name of “protecting national security.”
Chinese nationals can face fines or even jail time for unfavorable social media posts. Authorities have further tightened Internet controls in recent months, shutting down celebrity gossip blogs and probing platforms for “obscenity.”
Web users can circumvent the firewall if they download a virtual private network (VPN) — software that allows people to surf the Internet as if they were using a server in another country.
Foreign visitors can also access banned websites with their phones if they are in roaming mode — but only because the authorities currently allow it, according to experts.
Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese social media platform, was ablaze Wednesday with comments about what Trump would do without his most cherished form of communication.
Since Trump’s election in 2016, critics among Chinese Internet users have mockingly described American governance as “rule by Twitter.”
Some commenters feigned ignorance about the verboten site.
“Fake news. What’s Twitter? This website doesn’t exist,” one quipped.
Others appeared to be asking for explanations about Twitter in earnest, while still others called on Trump to create a Weibo account.
“In the three days that Trump’s off Twitter, someone else will surely seize the throne,” commented a user on Zhihu, a question-and-answer platform akin to Quora.


Instagram co-founders resign from social media company

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, which bought Instagram in 2012, founders Mike Krieger, left, and Kevin Systrom ‘extraordinary product leaders.’ (Reuters)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Instagram co-founders resign from social media company

  • Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, just before going public, at a price that seemed inconceivable at the time — $1 billion
  • Instagram has largely escaped Facebook’s high-profile problems over user privacy, foreign elections interference and fake news

SAN FRANCISCO: The co-founders of Instagram are resigning their positions with the social media company without explanation.
Chief Executive Kevin Systrom said in a statement late Monday that he and Mike Krieger, Instagram’s chief technical officer, plan to leave the company in the next few weeks and take time off “to explore our curiosity and creativity again.”
“Mike and I are grateful for the last eight years at Instagram and six years with the Facebook team,” Systrom said. “We’ve grown from 13 people to over a thousand with offices around the world, all while building products used and loved by a community of over one billion. We’re now ready for our next chapter.”
“Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do,” Systrom said. “We remain excited for the future of Instagram and Facebook in the coming years as we transition from leaders to two users in a billion.”
No explanation was given for their sudden departure from the photo-sharing network they founded in 2010.
Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, just before going public, at a price that seemed inconceivable at the time — $1 billion — especially for a little-known startup with no profit. At the time Instagram was ad-free, with a loyal following of 31 million users who were all on mobile devices — still a somewhat elusive bunch for the web-born Facebook back then. Since then, the service has grown to more than 1 billion users and has of course added plenty of advertisements.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called Systrom and Krieger “extraordinary product leaders” and said he was looking forward “to seeing what they build next.”
The departures are a challenge for Facebook. Instagram has been a bright spot for company not just because it’s seen as a more uplifting place than Facebook itself, but because it is popular with teens and young people — a group Facebook has had trouble keeping around.
Instagram has largely escaped Facebook’s high-profile problems over user privacy, foreign elections interference and fake news, even though it is not immune to any of these things (Facebook recently disclosed it has deleted hundreds of pages on its namesake site as well as Instagram that were linked to global misinformation campaigns intended to disrupt elections).
Though Systrom, in the early days of Instagram ads, famously checked each one personally to ensure it aligned with the app’s aesthetics, he was not as loudly anti-ads as the founder of another popular Facebook-acquired mobile app, WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum resigned in April.
Koum had signaled years earlier that he would take a stand against Facebook if the company’s push to increase profits demanded radical changes in the way WhatsApp operates. In a blog post written when Facebook announced the biggest acquisition in its history, Koum wrote that the deal wouldn’t have happened if WhatsApp “had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.”