Over the weekend Pakistani authorities blocked access to Twitter, reportedly over representations of the Prophet Mohammed circulating on the micro-blogging network and the fact that Twitter refused to block these images. Islamic culture considers it blasphemous to depict the Prophet Mohammed in any illustrative manner, and there have been other cases in recent history images of Mohammed causing controversy and unrest.
However, taking religion, faith, and morality completely out of the equation, at the centre of this story is the fact that Twitter users in an entire country were temporarily (Twitter is now back up in Pakistan) unable to access any of their information. I doesn’t matter who may or may not have been at fault in this situation, the fact is that there will have been plenty of innocent users that were affected. Plenty.
Social networks and other sites do run the risk of temporary or even permanent closure if those with the power to do so believe that it is for the best that they are shut down. With social media accounting for more and more of the world’s professional online activities – not just photos from a big weekend or a game of Farmville – therein lies the risk of losing valuable business information if there is a blanket ban imposed for any period of time.
People often take for granted the ease with which content and data can be accessed, but when the authorities lock the communal filing cabinet you suddenly can’t check who requested an information pack on your company or look at that phone number someone DM’d you on Twitter.
SocialSafe allows you to unite your social networks, creating a searchable offline journal populated by your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and Viadeo accounts. If losing access to your social network content could have a detrimental effect on your business, creating a searchable offline backup would be a good place to start.