The Censorship Effect

Laurenson provides some important points to consider as we hail technology without seriously engaging its manifold cultural impacts.


Editor’s note: Lydia Laurenson is a writer, researcher, and communications professional fascinated by social media and community dynamics. Lydia also served in the U.S. Peace Corps, working with the HIV program in Swaziland, Africa.

The 29-year-old founder of VKontakte, Russia’s largest social network, just got “fired” and left the country. That is, Pavel Durov described himself as fired, although there were previous rustlings of resignation.

Durov’s departure was accompanied by much commentary about the censorship climate in Russia. He himself announced that he plans to create a new social network, and that he moved because “the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment.” This comes right on the heels of the U.S. IPO for Sina Weibo, a social platform that’s sometimes called “China’s Twitter.” Mashable recently reported that when Sina Weibo filed its IPO, it described Chinese censorship specifically as a risk factor.

How much does…

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