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Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp.

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San Francisco, Sep 26 (IANS) Instant messaging service WhatsApp has been largely blocked in China, the media reported.

The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), a global observation network for detecting censorship, surveillance and traffic manipulation, suggested on Monday night that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp on September 23, reports CNN.

Public reports on Twitter indicated that WhatsApp, which is owned by the US-based social media giant Facebook, became inaccessible for some people on September 19.

Over the last few months, there were a number of WhatsApp disruptions in China.

However, WhatsApp has not made an official announcement on the development.

China has already blocked access to a number of internet companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.

Some people access these services through virtual private networks (VPN), or with tools that disguise internet traffic to circumvent censorship. But the Chinese government has launched a crack down on VPNs this year.

According to Timothy Heath, senior international defence research analyst at the RAND Corporation, the Chinese government does not like that WhatsApp uses strong encryption.

“The government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore it’s trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government,” Heath told CNN.

Earlier this month, WeChat, a popular chat service in China, notified users of its policies to comply with government requests for information. (ians)

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Facebook might lose $23 billion

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

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Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
Facebook shares fell down by 4% after Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in News Feed feature.
  • Facebook recently was on the verge of losing $23 billion after they decided to make some changes in the News Feed feature.
  • The change was announced in order to make the time spent on the social networking site more meaningful.
  • However, the change leads to a 4% fall in the share of the Facebook.

Facebook was on course to lose 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) of its value after it announced it was making changes to its News Feed feature that will allow users to see more updates from family and friends than posts from businesses, brands and media.

Facebook share fell 4 percent within hours after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the changes to make the social network more meaningful, The Sun reported.

This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay
This change was supposed to make Facebook more meaningful. Pixabay

This could also result in lining them up for its worst financial position in more than three months — and Zuckerberg losing $3.3 billion of his own personal net worth.

“One of our big focus areas for 2018 is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent. We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us,” Zuckerberg posted on Facebook late on Thursday.

The CEO said that Facebook has got a feedback from the community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.

The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay
The change will show more posts by family and friends instead of brands and businesses, Pixabay

“We’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to help you have more meaningful social interactions,” he said.

“As we roll this out, you will see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people,” Zuckerberg added.

This planned change sparked fears people will spend less time on the site, leading to its share stock suddenly dropping.

Zuckerberg admitted that the new changes might not pay off at first, but believes it is important users have more meaningful social interactions, The Sun said. IANS

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