Due to the Arab Spring and Occupy Movement being prime examples of how these platforms can be effectively used for protests and revolutions, many countries placed bans and censorships to prevent political and social dissent.
Some countries, such as Britain and Indiaare considering ways individuals can be prevented from using social media sites or if content can be screened before being posted. They have held meetings with the major companies, such as Google and Facebook, but, currently, the idea does not seem feasible. Similar to the reasons for the outright bans in other countries, these countries also fear religious tension and political dissent. Perhaps a unique case is the case of France. In 2011, Francebanned the words “Facebook” and “Twitter” from being used on TV and radio, unless if it directly relates to a news story, due to the idea that select commercial products or companies should not receive preferential treatment over other competitors.
While this is a completely different reason than the one that is usually heard and did not create a public outcry, it did cause many to think how the broadcasting companies would prosper if they banned promoting two of the most popular and, possibly essential, media tools of today. On a more personal level, individuals and communities are also debating the use and advantages of social media. With an increasing rate of cyber-bullying and even suicides and homicides due to social media related situations, many are considering the idea of whether a ban or partial censorship should be placed. Some religious groups are also against the use of social media, believing it leads to unethical and immoral behavior.
However, social media has its many benefits. For individuals, it has allowed families and friends to keep in touch and people to become more engaged with their communities. It has also allowed for various educational opportunities as people are constantly sharing information. On a business or non-profit level, social media has taken marketing and outreach to a whole new level, with online fundraising options, email newsletter/marketing campaigns, data retrieval sites, and more. Therefore, just as diverse as the world of social media is, so too is the range of users and the reasons for use. The concept of social media and social networking is a relatively new concept; and like any new, transformative concept, society seems to still be adjusting to it.