Twitter downloads are growing in China, despite the ban

In Cina crescono i download di Twitter, nonostante il ban thumbnail

Twitter He’s doing download and record in Chinesewhere nationwide protests against anti-COVID restrictions (and President Xi Jinping’s handling) are increasingly cinvolving the whole country. The app is there ninth most downloaded from iOSalthough it is blocked by the “Grande Firewall” Chinese. And users are using it to discuss and organize protests – in itself an act of revolt against the Chinese Communist Party government.

China: Twitter downloads are growing, to organize protests

If after Musk’s takeover of the social network, in the West we have increasingly animated discussions about how Twitter is managing, the platform makes headlines in China for a totally different reason. According to data from SensorTower, app downloads have skyrocketed. All to avoid Chinese social media, forcibly monitored by government authorities. And organize protests against government restrictions on American social media such as Twitter.

The social app is hidden behind the Great Firewall of China: a Chinese IP cannot be used to reach it. But with tools like VPNsit can be found onApp Store. On the other hand, it is more difficult to get it for Android, given the lack of Play Store in China and the fact that local digital stores follow government regulations. But several users downloaded the app from alternative stores llocated outside the Chinese borders and are using the social network.

Spam and pornography to obscure the protests

Finding the app, downloading it and navigating it without running into the Chinese Firewall and the plots of its censorship is not easy at all. And the situation doesn’t improve once you get to Twitter. In fact several bots organized by pro-government hacker groups, as TechCrunch reports, they’d be bombarding with tweets bearing the name of the cities where the protests take placeyou. Tweets with pornographic content, escort ads, and gambling links – all posts that aim to swamp information that users search for to organize protests.

A flood of spam that not only prevents Protestants from organizing themselves, but also makes it more difficult for Westerners (and for people of Chinese origin in other parts of the world) to get informed. According to it Stanford Internet Observatory 95% of tweets containing the word ‘Beijing’ come from spam and bot accounts. This makes it much more difficult to find information about the protests for those who want to support them, whether inside or outside the Great Firewall of China.

The recent mass firing of Elon Musk and the changes at the top of the company they are not making it easier to monitor tweets, deleting unrelated posts. The large number of Chinese bots also makes it difficult to figure out how many of the new accounts actually belong to Protestants.

A digital minefield

twitter blue subscription return blue ticks min

In addition to the flood of spam content, the Chinese government is implementing several actions that make it even more difficult to use Twitter. Six VPN service providers not authorized by Beijing are banned for five years now in the country, only this October a blockade of the most used VPN protocol in China has blocked 100 providers which provided secure sailing services to the nation.

Chinese protesters, unlike what has been seen recently in other nations, have a great difficulty in accessing online protest organizing tools. Beijing is cracking down on dissent online with the same terrible efficiency seen on the streets of China. Nevertheless, the number of downloads grows, as protests increase.