Who’s watching you as you Facebook,Twitter and go on LinkedIn to talk to your friends and colleagues? Every word you type may be closely monitored if you live in China. They have recently begun new developments in their approach to social networking and the online community where they will start monitoring all social web activity.
According to this article by The New York Times, China has formed a special bureau that was organized solely for the purpose of monitoring social networking sites. They’re expected to watch and look for suspicious activity, study what the trends are and generally see what people are talking about. They are also tasked with regulating and monitoring online businesses and to spot any irregularities or oddities that may exist. There are mixed feelings as to whether or not this is a good idea.
The new bureau marks the latest outgrowth to a morass of agencies tasked with regulating online business and communications in China. (Source)
How will this new condition affect individuals who are constantly online and frequent social networking sites. How will this new bureau affect the way businesses do business?
As for individuals, there will likely be a decrease in their social web activity, or maybe they will watch what they say while they’re online. It may be that the Chinese government is not necessarily looking for anything in particular. Or are they? Most monitoring authorities employ these types of networks to search for certain patterns, activities or styles of communicating. It doesn’t always have to be bad activity, but their search and monitoring is diligent nonetheless.
Foremost, businesses will begin to monitor more closely what they put on their sites and how they engage their audiences. Businesses are going to be more concerned about profitability and their perceived involvement with other business entities. Again, although there may not be any cause for alarm in this area, there may still be slight apprehension with their business dealings.
What do you think about China’s new committee on social network monitoring? Do you think it’s something to be cautious of or that it’s not anything to worry about? How would you feel if your personal or business site were monitored? What is your comfort level on having your conversations monitored or monitoring someone else’s? Please share your opinion with me. Thanks!
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