Another day, another application banned off of a centralized platform because its creators don’t agree with the message.
Tech giant Apple has recently removed a “poisonous” app that assisted protestors in Hong Kong with keeping an eye on the police. They’ve done so because an official newspaper published by the Chinese Communist Party called the company out for allowing it.
Apple has removed an app used by Hong Kong protesters to track police movements after the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper called the app “poisonous”.
Big Tech once again caving to one of the biggest human rights abusers on the planet.
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 10, 2019
A Danger to Who?
More specifically, the application, HKmap.live, was said by Apple to have put not only citizens but law enforcement in danger. However, multiple reviews have stated the contrary – that HKmap is making everyone safer.
A tweet from the official account says that the team believed this was once “a bureaucratic f up,” but now consider it suppression of freedom and human rights for the citizens in Hong Kong who are fighting for just that.
8. We once believed the App rejection is simply a bureaucratic f up, but now it is clearly a political decision to suppress freedom and human right in #HongKong. It is disappointing to see US corps such as @Apple, @NBA, @Blizzard_Ent, @TiffanyAndCo act against #freedom
— HKmap.live 全港抗爭即時地圖 (@hkmaplive) October 10, 2019
As of now, companies that have a large userbase in China are struggling to either adhere to the overpowering government’s wishes or risk being banned in the country and taking a big financial loss. Blizzard Entertainment, developers of popular games like World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and other franchises, is under fire for banning a popular esports player who came out in favor of the protests during an interview.
Unfortunately for the protestors, that power is extending to apps as well, with Apple falling under a similar plight. But, if so many big companies are willing to bend to China’s will, what can independent app developers do to fight back? Well, one solution is to build their applications on blockchain networks like Ethereum, Tron, or EOS.
You see, blockchains like Ethereum exist as a platform to build decentralized applications (dApps). They’re run by automated smart contracts, essentially if-then statements, that ensure anyone can connect and interact with as long as they’re holding the respective currency. Also, these networks are entirely self-serving, with no governmental power or authority to control what’s going on. Instead, the community discusses and votes for changes to be made.
A Blockchain-Based Free Market
While this scenario can certainly be a double-edged sword, a free market might serve these protestors much better than a controlled one. After all, these protestors are fighting for freedom, and freedom is essentially built into the philosophy of blockchain.
A dApp could help these Hong Kong protestors store money outside of government-controlled banks, provide a way for citizens to contact anybody at any time across the world without being traced, ensure that they have an immutable history of all of their actions, and much more – all while mitigating the risk of the Chinese government coming to shut things down. And hey, Ethereum’s price is on the up, as BeInCrypto reported yesterday. Maybe that could be the platform of choice.
Of course, with China taking a firm stance against cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as they’d like to build their own stablecoin that competes with Facebook’s Libra, these protestors would have to do some underground development. But, considering they’re protesting against the government, these citizens will likely take anything they can get to fight for freedom, even if it puts their lives at risk. At this rate, anything that puts control into citizens’ own hands is a win for them.
What do you think about the state of the protests in Hong Kong? Could a dApp provide some sort of sanctity from the Chinese government? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Images are courtesy of Twitter, Shutterstock.