iePlexus Social Media News Brief: Jan. 15, 2010

A war between Google & China this week, while the social media world helped raise money for victim’s of Haiti’s earthquake. Find out all the details in today’s social media news brief.

Google started a war with China. Google announcedearlier in the week that they would no longer censor the web in China because they believe the web should be open to anyone. This comes after what the Internet giant calls “sophisticated” cyber attacks originating from within China, targeting gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. None of the accounts were breached, but the company says the attacks “…have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China.. And we’re…no longer willing to continue censoring our results on”…. “This may well mean having to shut down and potentially our offices in China.” China responded to Google’s statement’s saying that if the company does not follow Chinese laws, the site will be blocked. If Google does pull out of China, it could come at a huge financial loss. As China has more than 300 million Internet users, that’s more than any other nation. The Internet advertising market is seen as one of the most important and fastest growing in the world. As of right now, all of Google staff members in China are on paid leave.

Thousands are feared dead and millions of people have been affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday. Many American’s first heard about the earthquake through Twitter and it almost instantly became a trending topic. Since then the social media world has help raise millions of dollars, and has been a major search tool in finding loved ones in the country. The Red Cross announced via Twitter that anyone who wants to donate $10 for earthquake relief just needed text the word HAITI to 90999. Since that announcement’s, American’s have raised over 8 million dollars, just through text messages alone. Users of the Facebook Group Earthquake Haiti have been posting pictures of loved one, in hopes that someone will see or hear from them. CNN’s has also been doing the same thing, and has so far help reunite tens of people thus far. Skype has also been getting into the act, sending $2 vouchers to all of it’s customers in Haiti, and while that may not seem like a lot, it will supply them enough to make calls to the US for the equivalent of an hour. Google also donated about a million dollars. So far, this is expected to be the biggest fundraiser through social media ever.

And finally, ending a bit on a lighter note, two of the first viral videos for 2010 hit the web this past week. First take a look at this, Wednesday night 62-year-old Larry Platt, auditioned for American Idol singing his own song known as “Pants on the Ground.” Unfortunately Platt was a bit over the American Idol’s age limit of 28, not making it to Hollywood. However his audition is one of the fastest growing videos on the web ever. In the first 12 hours of being posted online, the video had more than half a million views. And second, take a look at this. 5 year old Jonah Rock. A video posted of him last weekend show Jonah drumming out to System of a Down’s, Toxicity. It has had close to 400,000 views. The five year old even has his own website, which shows him jamming out to KISS on stage during one of their concerts. According to his website, he’s been playing the drums since the age of 3.


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