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Parmy Olson

Social Media Is a Wreck. Protesters Are Rising Above It.

Facebook, Twitter and WeChat have their problems, but they are playing a critical role in helping uprisings against autocratic regimes.

The revolution will be on TikTok.

The revolution will be on TikTok.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

This may be the year social media experiences its worst moments of crisis while reminding the world of its critical value to democracy.

Across China, users of the social network WeChat have posted white squares as their profile images, echoing the blank sheets of paper held up in demonstrations over the weekend in a metaphorical dig at censorship. Posts supporting the protests have gone viral in an atmosphere already fraught with tension over the government’s Covid lockdowns.