And China continues to crack down on foreign technology and content websites. The latest platform to feel the heat of the country’s definitive internet censorship is a photo-sharing community website called Pinterest. It has been inaccessible within the confines of China for the last seven days, reports censorship monitoring organization GreatFire.
This blockade comes as yet another significant blow for foreign content platforms, which have already been scrutinized by China. The website has been unavailable in the country for seven days, which seems highly unlikely in the case of scheduled maintenance or even a glitch on part of the country’s internet regulator. This confirms the sudden ban on the image sharing platform.
With this move, Pinterest now joins its social media brethren including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, who’ve been faced with the wrath of China’s Great Firewall. The censorship parade in the country has also rendered other tech platforms such as Gmail, YouTube, LinkedIn and others useless. It has even extended the red tape to several news organizations such as Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Reuters among others.
Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s Internet regulator is known to strictly scrutinize the content which is being made available to individuals. The Chinese government likes to have complete control over the cyber practices inside the country and does not take the issue lightly. It has even started cracking down on VPN service providers to prevent users access to banned websites.
While Pinterest seems like a harmless community platform that allows users to build boards and pin up photos to share with others, the regulator seems to find the content unfit for access by the people. The other potential reason for China banning Pinterest which crosses the top of my mind is the company’s new found focus on AI-powered image search.
The country has always been extremely wary of the content being served and shared on the interwebs, thus, building a robust image search network could’ve triggered the move. Pinterest has recently also hired former Google image search veteran to lead its efforts. This is just another shot in the dark and doesn’t confirm anything.
And just like every other website China has placed under a ban through its firewall, it has also failed to mention a legitimate reason for the ban on Pinterest. It disallowed access to Pinterest to Chinese internet users around seven days ago but didn’t bother to update the masses with a reason for the ban. However, we’ve now contacted Pinterest for an update on the situation in China and will update you once we hear back from them.
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