Reader’s Response

Draft 2

In his article, “Where isn’t social media ubiquitous?”, Levi (2012) discusses some of the possible reasons that social networks such as Facebook and G+ are not being accessed in some areas of the world. He suggests that it can be due to a lack of support of native languages for people in those places, which can firstly be caused by a low Internet access rate. Levi also considers political issues such as territorial conflicts between countries to be a major factor.

Although the reasons he suggested can be correct to some extent, I do not fully agree with him. I feel that there is a contradiction to his arguments. He first suggest the lack of support for native language to be a reason that these social networks are not being accessed everywhere. Then, he says that people in countries where the native language is not supported, are able to use second languages to access to the social networks. In my opinion, I do not think that this lack of native language support is a major cause. In this technologically-advanced age, one can easily find language translation programs such as Google Translate, to aid them in accessing the social networks. In addition, countries such as China which restrict access to Facebook, has local-supported social networks. Hence if countries do not have such alternatives in place, their people may not be tech-savvy or even interested in these social networks in the first place.

However his reason that areas lack native language support because they have low rates of internet access is definitely a valid one. With the minute amount of users that has Internet access, it is understandable not to prioritize providing language support for this group of people.

Lastly, I do not fully agree with the examples the author provided to support his claim. In his article he mentioned that Taiwanese, or Traditional Chinese, is not supported by Facebook due to fear of annoying China, as there exists political conflicts between the two. However this is a somewhat inappropriate example as Facebook is being blocked by the “Great Firewall of China” in the first place. Therefore, I feel that Facebook would not even take this factor into consideration.