The grandees of China’s Communist Party have gathered in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing for their five-yearly congress.
Not a teacup will be out of place; not a whisper of protest will be audible. The Communist Party has always been obsessed with control.
But under President Xi Jinping that obsession has deepened. After three decades of opening and reform under previous leaders, China has in many ways become more closed and autocratic under Mr Xi. Surveillance has broadened. Censorship has stiffened.
Party cells flex their muscles in private firms. Preserving the party’s grip on power trumps any other consideration.
The Roots of the Communist Party’s Power
The Communist Party’s grip on power is derived from a mix of sources. The party controls the military and the police, which helps to ensure that any potential challengers to its rule are dealt with swiftly and harshly. The party also controls the media, which allows it to shape public opinion in its favor and present a positive image of the party to the outside world.
In addition, the party uses its vast financial resources to buy loyalty and support from key interest groups, such as business owners and government officials. Finally, the party relies on its vast network of party members and supporters to help it monitor and control society at large. By using all of these tools, the party is able to stay in power despite widespread public dissatisfaction with its rule.
The Communist Party’s obsession with control is nothing new; however, under President Xi Jinping, that obsession has reached new levels. After three decades of relatively open and reformist policies,
China has become more closed off and autocratic under Mr Xi. Surveillance is more widespread, censorship has increased, and party cells have greater influence over private businesses.
Preserving the party’s grip on power is now seen as more important than any other consideration. This obsession with control may eventually prove to be the party’s undoing, but for now, it remains firmly in power.
“Woman. Life. Freedom,” Iran protests now on the world’s stadium
Protests are engulfing Iran as a revolution against oppression spills onto the global stage, with the world unable to turn a blind eye
In Iran, protests are engulfing the country as thousands take to the streets in a revolution against oppression.
Women are cutting their hair and burning their hijabs, demanding some form of change to the strict rules that impact their ultimate freedom.
From the Iranian Revolution in 1979 to the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the nation’s residents have witnessed their fair share of turmoil.
Many insist that religion, like Islam, is being used as a reason to violate basic human rights in Iran.
Women in the country and around the world, are now lifting the veil on Iran’s corruption.
For nearly forty years, women in Iran have faced a life of control and oppression. Subject to the strict Islamic Republic rules, bound by religion.
There have been protests in Iran before, but nothing like what we see today.
Women and men are filling the streets of the entire country, in a show of solidarity against the regime, putting their lives on the line.
Footage of Iranian women burning the hijabs and cutting their hair has encapsulated social media.
Spilling onto the global stage
The uprising against the regime in Iran and its treatment of women is openly and loudly spilling onto the global stage.
Its voice is so powerful it is even flooding into the sporting arena. In Qatar, Iranian soccer players refused to sing their national anthem before their World Cup game.
While the move from the sporting stars was seen by a global audience, a cloud of fear now looms over the safety and wellbeing of the players returning to their homeland.
As history shows us, sport has often been used as an avenue to express a political stance.
At the 1968 Mexico Olympics, U.S. athlete Tommie Smith raised his black-gloved fist, in defiance of racial segregation.
This is perhaps one of the most iconic moments, illustrating the blurred line between politics and sport.
UN finally calls out Iran
During the Iran protests, footage of authorities using brutal force against protestors sparked global attention and outrage.
Now, the United Nation has called out Iran’s actions.
At its 35th special session, the UN Human Rights Council launched a new investigation. It will independently investigate alleged human rights violations during the protests.
Is Musk flushing Twitter down the drain?
Elon Musk has made plenty of changes to Twitter, but will it make or break the social media platform?
When Elon Musk walked into Twitter with a sink you knew things were about to get interesting.
It’s been a chaotic few weeks of change for the social media platform. Musk quickly showed thousands of employees the door.
Noticeably, he also upended the iconic ‘blue tick’ hierarchy.
The new boss is adamant in making the platform a place of free speech, often using public Twitter polls to dictate his next move.
It’s not very often you have a billionaire and CEO of a tech giant communicate with people everyday via a tweet thread.
While people have been quick to judge Musk’s changes, he remains one of the most successful businessmen in history.
He lead the charge on flying to space with his SpaceX empire and was ahead of the game in the electric vehicle market.
Perhaps, the changes to the platform are a smart move for the company to succeed, despite the abruptness of them.
Proof is in the pudding because the numbers show Twitter has added 1.6 million daily users this week alone, which is an all-time high.
Plus World Cup traffic hit almost 20,000 tweets per second today, breaking another record.
It’s likely Twitter may be more successful in private hands. Financially though, the company has declined, causing widespread concern about its economic stability.
Musk wants to vastly increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions, but a question mark looms over its ability to triumph.
Suspended accounts debate
Previously, Twitter had banned the accounts of many users, particularly those prone to far-right rhetorics.
Former President Donald Trump’s account had been suspended for nearly a year, alongside conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and controversial Andrew Tate.
Musk asked his followers in a poll if Twitter should “offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts? As Musk says, they haven’t broken the law?”
It all follows a turbulent economic time for the social media giant as it finds its place in the ever changing cyber sphere.
Whether or not Twitter goes down the drain, remains to be seen.
But love him or hate him, Musk has created an entertaining platform, with millions flocking to get a taste of what is the Twitter saga.
Does Donald Trump need Twitter to win in 2024?
Donald Trump is making a political comeback in 2024, but can he gain relevance without Twitter?
Donald Trump is making his political comeback, and Twitter boss Elon Musk has welcomed the former President back to the platform with open arms.
It was only a matter of weeks after taking over that Musk decided to lift Trump’s nearly year-long suspension.
Many expected Trump to jump at the offer and begin flooding our Twitter feeds again.
However, the former President may not want to return to Twitter, but why?
U.S. Commentator Susan Tehrani believes Trump’s decision to withhold his return to Twitter comes back to money.
Twitter was Trump’s favourite app when he was President. He used the platform to drum up support and create buzz. Love him or hate him, Trump undeniably had people right around the world speaking about his latest thought.
In today’s society, people consume news via social media, in particular via Twitter.
With Trump absent from Twitter, it raises question about how he will maintain relevance in social media sphere in the lead up to his 2024 return.
Trump heads his own social media platform ‘Truth Social’, but it has just four million users, opposed to Twitter’s more than 200 million.
Does Twitter need Trump, more than Trump needs Twitter?
With Musk at the reigns of Twitter, the social media giant is shifting its direction. Musk has made it clear he doesn’t believe in the previous ‘blue tick’ hierarchy, quickly scrapping the process.
He has been vocal about his desire for free speech on the platform. However, many are concerned that the changes may have a negative impact.
Although, change isn’t always a bad thing and perhaps Twitter needed a makeover, to keep up with today’s evolving society and array of opinions.
While Twitter is still popular, Musk’s move to reinstate Donald Trump’s account might have been strategic.
Trump is a bold politician, and regardless of his Twitter status, many are wondering what his next move will be.
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