I've come across a BBC article about Chinese internet users inundating Barack Obama's Google Plus page. Here is Obama's Google+ page. This bit of news gives me a warm feeling. Apparently "many simply voiced delight at their freedom to speak: they talked about occupying the furniture and bringing snacks and soft drinks."

Unfortunately, the BBC piece ends "it has prompted one poster to suggest that if China ever abandoned its internet restrictions, the United States would have to protect its social media with a Great Firewall of its own."

This attitude is a great pity in my view (of course it may be in jest ;) ). The Web offers a great opportunity to observe and learn about other people and cultures. But there is also the danger of a Web segregated along language and cultural lines.

One World - One Web, poster by psd on Flickr
One World - One Web, by psd/Paul Downey, CC-by

Back in 2005 Escondido, CA (PRWEB) reported that native English speakers were a minority on the Web. And the world has moved on from there, with the development of mobile internet in Africa and other regions.

The need for nations and indivduals to develop their foreign language learning is as great as ever. And we should continue to improve the automated translation tools, and find ways to "vote-up" and share valuable comment and contributions, particularly those in languages other than our own.