China today presented its best face at APEC summit by lifting ban on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter for the first time and even allowing web search of the Dalai Lama at the conference venue. Also Read - RIP Fleets! Twitter officially shuts disappearing tweets feature
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum media centre has allowed reporters to access social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and video-sharing website YouTube. Access to such sites is essentially restricted by the Chinese government elsewhere in the country. This is the first time China has loosened its internet restrictions for a major international event. Also Read - How to hide likes on Instagram, Facebook if you don't want social media validation
As the APEC’s officials began their meetings here at newly built conference centre, ahead of November 10 leaders meeting to be attended by US President Barack Obama among others, Beijing shed its heavy pollution overnight and glowed in the autumn weather providing a big relief for smog weary people. Also Read - Twitter Bug Bounty Contest to offer $3500 cash prize for detecting algorithm bias
The clean weather was ensured after shutting down thousands of factories all around Beijing and nearby cities cutting down the sources of pollution. But a big surprise awaited the international media as all controls on the internet were lifted at the massive APEC media room fitted with scores of laptops which connected with high speed internet unlike the excruciatingly slow connectivity in the rest of the city. Scribes could easily log into Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google which can not be accessed in the country without the help of VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection to be procured from outside. Media personnel could even freely search for the Dalai Lama news over Google which otherwise is totally banned on the net.
China controls its internet with massive firewalls to block the international social media from having a negative impact on the population.