The three-pronged malaise is ready apparent deep within the confines of the Asian continent, as trade, journalistic integrity (if there still such a concept), and the burgeoning tech marketplace, all face the brute force of the Chinese state and its propensity to add bureaucratic elements to the free market. This force feeding frenzy of implacable customization is most noticeable in the digital hinterland, as the internet preamble of the unregulated echoed by the founders of the electronic matrix is incongruent with the policies of a totalitarian government with an insatiable hunger to regulate and destroy.
Linkedin, the premiere social media schmoozing destination for professionals and e-networking is the latest Silicon Valley conglomerate to face the ire of Beijing and China’s very own destructive trio to Capitalism, as the government, the Communist party, and the People’s Liberation Army, are all complicit in polluting the site with propaganda, misinformation, and industrial espionage. The level of Chinese influence has been so detrimental, that Microsoft, the parent company of the vast social networking sphere has decided to shutdown operations on the mainland, while sparing operations in Taiwan.
The decision by the software behemoth to pull the plug on the headquarters located in Beijing, is a direct blowback to a series of felonious and contrived regulatory compliance issues and subsequent fines enforced by Chinese officials, serving the censorship directives of the hive mind. This comes in the wake of Wikipedia editors from China losing their account privileges and credentials in a massive scandal of corrosive editing, where site administrators found multiple incidents of falsehoods printed deliberately to proliferate Communist ideology, and to spark divisiveness.
The domain originally launched a Chinese offshoot to its mainstream brand in 2014, to potentially tap the vast revenue of business leaders and professionals lucratively funded by foreign capital. Instead, the venture backfired, as WeChat and other state-sponsored social media maintained the lion’s share of end users. However, the infestation of rogue elements and dissidents have plagued the cloned site since its inception, as stringent directives from the PLA have been launched to establish battle lines against the West.
Allegedly, specified accounts of the non-bot distinction were using the platform’s messaging and posting features to proliferate pro-China rhetoric for recruitment purposes, and to target ideological adversaries as an extension of the government’s proclivity to surveil residents. Coupled with the prevalence of machine learning commissioned for insidious purposes, the flawed business model of attempting to introduce the Western entrepreneurial electronic networking experience obviously created more problems than resulting in the famed online connections equating to lucrative profits.
The assault of suppression unleashed upon the free market throughout the entire spectrum of social media by Beijing has engulfed a niche marketplace in subversive ambiguity. effectively corrupting a communication channel with onerous radioactive waste, and setting the precedent that China is willing to engage in information warfare, where no shots are fired, and the the only casualties are minds through exploitative brainwashing. Though Pandora’s box has been left ajar through the Chinese objective towards an extensive misinformation campaign, the miscreants possessing superior English language skills and used as pawns for the a regime attempting to hijack the near future, the complete flooding of dissidents into mainstream social media has yet to occur.
As leadership across the social networking industry has vowed to “clean-up their act” in terms of handling sensitive information, and moderating brazen attempts by foreign regimes to influence elections, the predominantly liberal politics are aligned to the majority of the tech culture, and what seems fair is not. Conservative individuals and groups are treated with as much chagrin as Beijing, though through much more subtle methods, as community “terms and conditions” are constantly rewritten allowing the publicly traded private entities to brand their sites as bastions of free speech, when the opposite is the case.
While Constitutional precedent cannot and should not be applied to businesses or corporations, the irony is lost on the Zuckerberg’s of the planet, that the tactics employed in forwarding a self-serving narrative are not all that dissimilar to the totalitarian will of the Chinese government. The concept of social media algorithms are interchangeable with the hundreds of millions of facial recognition cameras spying on a distressed people, and in the end the megaproject societal engineering project transcends an Orwellian dystopia in the making.
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