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Tencent Reddit Investment Ignites Firewall Fears

Tencent Reddit

Reddit has been known for years as one of the most liberal places on the internet. It supports free-speech and open discussion, even on topics that are considered off limits. The platform has become known as the “front page of the internet”, where people have trusted the content to be raw and real. But concerns have started to come up after it was confirmed that a Tencent Reddit investment happened worth $150 million, sparking fears of censorship amongst Reddit’s loyal user base.

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Tencent, a huge Chinese holdings and investment company, is considered as the world’s largest gaming company. The company has been infamous with setting up censoring measures on the platforms it invests in or purchases. It’s probably most known for developing its own messaging app – WeChat, which has dealt with its own set of censoring controversies.

Now that the Tencent Reddit money injection has been confirmed, many users have feared that Reddit faces the same fate as other platforms on which Tencent is involved with. For one, Reddit is actually banned in its entirety in China, and even if it wasn’t, it contains so much censored content that most of it would be banned anyway if it was allowed to be accessed in China. Users even went so far as to flood Reddit with known banned content, like (we can’t make this stuff up) Winnie-the-Pooh, which is banned in China for being used as a meme to describe China’s President Xi Jinping.

The Tencent Reddit investment deal feels like an ironic joke, seeing as one of the most censored companies injected money into an essentially lawless platform. However, it might not be all doom and gloom, as Tencent has invested in other platforms, games, and companies, without firewalling the hell out of them. Some of the most prominent investments from Tencent was in companies like Tesla, Snapchat, and Epic Games.

How do you feel about the Tencent Reddit investment deal?

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I love everything pop culture. Disney is my life. I was born in the same year as the Internet. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. Togepi is my Buddy.

Nastassja Robberts
ndelaguerre@gmail.com