You probably know that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more than 2,600 other websites are NOT allowed to be opened in by people in China. In fact, they just can’t open them. If you didn’t know about it yet, there can be only two reason:
1. You don’t care.
2. You just never heard about it.
Well, whatever the reason is, you may wonder about the life of the people without these sites. How do they connect with each other? How do they watch awesome videos? And seriously, no Twitter at all? There must be some alternatives of these, right? Or some other social network?
I also asked these questions to myself when I got to know about this thing, but the most important question was, “What it’s like to be in China without Facebook?” I thought about asking these questions to Chinese people directly, but the problem was to find them. They’re not on any social networking site or YouTube, where else they could be? Somehow, I managed to interview some of them and find the answer of questions lingering on my mind. I am sharing a few extracts from the conversation. Some of them knew English while some didn’t, conversation with non-English speakers is translated and then posted here.
The first person I talked to, surprised me with his first answer! He said, well… See it yourself.
Me: Do you know about Facebook?
Me: Never even heard of it?
He: All I know is, it is disabled here.
Me: So which social networking site you use?
He: The social networking sites in China is not quite good.
I didn’t get much information from the first person, so I talked to another one. He didn’t give much information either, but at least he knew about Facebook. When I asked them, what do you use instead of a social networking site? Almost everyone said QQ Chat Tool. I guess nobody else use that! At least I don’t; I can access Facebook.
The next person I talked to was a 17 year old girl. She gave some really surprising answers, but it’s fine. They never opened the social networking site, how will they know about it?
Me: Have you ever used Facebook?
She: No. It’s banned here, in China mainland.
Me: So, you never used it. What do you think it is?
She: May be some kind of Video Chatting thing.
Me: What do you use to connect with people then?
She: We usually use QQ, Baidu and Renren.
Me: Do you think that Facebook should not be blocked in China?
She: This is a national issue. I never used the software, so I don’t know.
Me: How do you people manage without Facebook, Twitter and YouTube? Where do you watch videos?
She: There are many video tools.
She: QQ Video and Thunder.
She obviously didn’t know about Facebook, in fact she thought that it’s some sort of video chatting software. Nonetheless, she don’t think that it shouldn’t be blocked. But the next person we talked with, does not think so. He said, he has a crack to use Facebook but denied to share it. Not only that, he also oppose the idea of blocking the sites and gave a very good reason. See it yourself.
Me: Do you know about Facebook?
Me: What is it?
He: It is a social network. You can get more friends there.
Me: Do you use it?
He: Yes I do.
Me: How? I’ve heard it’s blocked in China.
He: I have a crack.
Me: Which crack? Can you tell me a little about it?
He: No. Sorry.
Me: Twitter, YouTube and more than 2,600 other websites are also blocked. Are you against this?
He: Yes, because I can not access the information but others can. I don’t like that.
Me: So, what it’s like to be without Facebook in China?
He: People in China use other tools. QQ IM is most commonly used. I know people can get more friends on Facebook but we can’t access it.
If Facebook, Twitter and YouTube gets blocked for you too, how do you think it will affect you?