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.


Unilever launches campaign aimed at fake followers to boost transparency

Updated 19 June 2018
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Unilever launches campaign aimed at fake followers to boost transparency

LONDON: Unilever has launched a campaign against fake followers in a bid to boost transparency in the murky world of product influencers.
The world’s second largest advertiser announced the cutting of ties with influencers who buy followers, a practice thought to be widespread in the Gulf.
With $7 billion in marketing and brand investment at its disposal, its stand against influencers purchasing followers could have a big impact on media buying in the Middle East.
Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed said: “We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever.”
He said this would be done through cleaning up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement; making brands and
influencers more aware of the use of dishonest practices and improving transparency from social platforms to help brands measure impact.
Buying influencers has become commonplace, with about one in four influencers in the region making use of bots, Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, founder and managing director of TishTash Marketing & Public Relations, told Arab News in March.
“It’s pretty obvious who’s using these bots — log on to Instagram at 3 a.m. and you can see accounts very active at this time, and I don’t think it’s a case of insomnia,” she said.
At this year’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Keith Weed will also convene a group to include the World Federation of Advertisers, Instagram and Richard Edelman with the aim of increasing transparency and integrity in the influencer space.
The announcement comes as both Unilever and Procter & Gamble audit their advertising spend and their relationships with agencies.
Peter Storck, co-founder of influencer marketing measurement firm Points North Group, told Reuters that all of the companies he has analyzed have fallen prey to bots, including Unilever.
Besides misleading consumers, he said that bots waste money, since brands are spending to reach non-existent consumers.