No.RecommendationRecipientThematic Group SourceAssigneesStatus
17ICANN needs to be sensitive to the fact that social media are blocked in certain countries and, in conjunction with technical bodies, promote credible alternativesICANN GSE Staff; ICANN CIIOTG2
  • Technology Taskforce
  • Social Media



Implementation Details 

ICANN is already aware that popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are blocked in certain countries. To address this issue, ICANN’s Communications Department has made a conscious effort in establishing and managing credible alternatives in those countries for promoting ICANN’s work. Examples include ICANN’s Weibo blog, Wechat channel, and YouKu channel in mainland China.

The At-Large Community has contributed to this effort by researching and testing other social media tools. For instance, At-Large’s Social Media Working Group discovered and shared with ICANN Staff SLACK (a cloud-based, team collaboration software)’s capability to integrate with Twitter and publish tweets in countries/territories that Twitter is blocked.

Next Step 

At-Large will maintain a watching brief on ICANN’s efforts of spreading its social media footprint to reach and communicate with users around the world as widely as possible.



    • Social Media WG assignees of this Rec to do the reporting 


    • The objective of social media is to share information about At-Large and encourage target audience to engage with the community 
    • Slack can be a better alternative tool for group chat
  •  (update from the GSE, slides)
    • Note on slide:  ICANN is sensitive to this issue but this topic could be considered outside of ICANN’s technical remit. It would be helpful to hear more from At-Large on this recommendation.

    • TTF has looked into various tools as alternatives to mainstream social media tools. For example, slack can be used to curate/publish social media content blocked in certain regions. Testing of slack is yet to be done. 

Input from Social Media Working Group: 

  • Review the social media platforms blocked in certain countries/regions (e.g. & alternative platforms local to those countries/regions 
  • Assignees (Beran Dondeh GillenBukola FawoleMurray McKercher, Glenn McKnight) to research alternative social media platforms in countries that block Facebook, Twitter, and/or YouTube & report back to the group via mailing list and future WG call
  • Assignees to to contact the citizen lab and find out previous research on this subject
  • Glenn McKnight to follow up with the other assignees on this Rec 
  • Ariel Liang & Murray McKercherto explore ICANN's Wechat account 

    • ICANN has launched Wechat and YouKu accounts to reach audience in mainland China 
    • Slack can separate conversations based on topics via hashtags and do search of the messages globally. Slack is a good alternative tool for internal communications of the community, especially At-Large. Skype has various challenges, as it can easily loose chat history. Slack has a great mechanism for retaining chat history. It also has various add-ons/integration with other tools. 

Input from Technology Taskforce: 

  • At-Large Workshop on “TOR and alternative naming mechanisms to the DNS” held at ICANN Singapore 2014 
  • TTF has looked at Group Chat services ( such as Slack, HipChat and Hall.
  • At-Large Social Media WG is researching alternative social media platforms where traditional ones are blocked.
  • While the TTF considered listing several platforms/services that allow access to blocked services, it was felt that even listing such services could be construed as endorsing breaking of national laws, irrespective of whether we (global At-Large) think such laws/restrictions are unjust.
  • :
    • TTF has a meeting with David Goulet, Tor developer, and explored social media/communications channels used in regions that block certain mainstream platforms 
  • :
    • ICANN has implemented alternative chat services, such as SLACK, which has the capability to curate tweets and feeds from various social media channels 
    • ICANN Comms has developed Wechat, Weibo, YouKu to reach the Chinese public that cannot access Facebook, Twitter, etc. 
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1 Comment

  1. Dev Anand Teelucksingh found out the following social media and online communications platforms used in China: 





    Microsoft Xiaobing: