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Censorship Your Rights Online

Citizen Journalism Combating Chinese Censorship 86

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the civil-disobedience dept.
teh_commodore writes to tell us that Breitbart has a look at how Citizen Journalism is shining a whole new light on China. "Recognizing the threat of China's growing online community, Chinese President Hu Jintao called in January for the Internet to be 'purified', and the government has since launched a number of online crackdowns. [...] 'One cannot truly say that the Internet in China is becoming more and more free, because at the same time as the development of citizen journalists, the government finds ways of blocking or censoring content,' Pain said."
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Citizen Journalism Combating Chinese Censorship

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  • Interesting article, showing how even as the national authorities tighten the reins on internet communications, people in China still make use of the internet to expose corruption & apathy within their local governments.
    • Reminds me of the popularity of fax machines in China during the years prior to and immediately following Tiananmen Square (1989). The genie is out of the bottle, I do hope the authorities don't try to stuff it back in like they tried back then.

      from someone who was in Hong Kong:

      And once again we choose not to focus too much on certain reports. China is in the midst of a historic buildup of its military. China is cracking down on unofficial news sources and asking citizens to report any unauthorized news postings on the Web./quote)

  • Interesting to see this posting just a few hours after the posting about our Mechanized Future [slashdot.org]. Couldn't we say that the internet is helping Chinese fight unwanted censorship... thus improving their lives..
  • Hot Button Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Azuma Hazuki (955769) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:26PM (#19640379)
    Whenever I hear people in "dear leader" positions throwing around words like purify, patriotism, freedom, etc, it makes me cringe. This is doublespeak; "purify" means "purge."
    • ...and "purge" means "kill"
      • by nphyatt (1014363)
        Cleanse! Purge! Kill! In the name of the Emperor, we shall bring an Exterminatus to the hereti... Oh, wait. Whoops.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by beyondkaoru (1008447)
          aye, brothers. we must rally our men to combat the numerous evils which threaten our home, the (imperium|usa|middle kingdom). there can be no rest until the (heretics and mutants|dissenters|dissenters) have been purged, and we may stand united to praise the (emperor|president|chairman)!

          but we must not merely look within to find the enemy; there is, too, the enemy without: these (xenos|muslims|capitalists)... the more i look at them, the more i come to know them, the more i come to hate them. i hate them not
          • by dintech (998802)
            Fun to read too. I like selecting the words that are least offensive to my sensibilities. :)
          • by nphyatt (1014363)
            Unfortunately, not all of our problems can be solved by bolter fire and throwing billions of Imperial Guard troops at various planets. Now, if only we could convince the government of such...
  • Do they.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    Do they not get what they deserve?

    Have they forgot how Chinese invaded Tibet and displaced the Buddhists?
    Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? They hunted down amateur and professional footage alike so they could go and assassinate the dissidents.
    Or in recent times, have they forgot about the forced abortions that the Chinese government puts women through for violating "Birth Law"?

    And now they wish to "clean up" the Internet. Awwww. It doesnt fit in their view of authoritarian communism.

    Who I do feel sad for
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mrjb (547783)
      Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? What square? According to the Ministery of Truth, it never happened.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's not that easy for an oppressed people to free themselves.

      For one thing, you have to hope that a George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc. exist simultaneously around the same time. And also that they have the tools need to mount an effective resistance. Not every country is lucky enough to get people like that.

      The other MAJOR problem is the lack of weaponry. You see, people seem to be willing to give up all kinds of liberties when the slightest amount of feart is introduced. Now imagine the threat agai
      • probably the even more major problem than a lack of weaponry is a lack of knowledge of history. if they don't know that a brighter future can exist compared to what they've got, they won't revolt. they'll go on thinking things are double-plus-good. often, the mainland chinese don't even know that Tienanmen square, well, happened.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        So if a dissident is going to mount a resistance he/she has to be aware who else they're "involunteering", because it won't just be the dissident paying the price.

        This is a very good point, and a very good reason to support anonymous [freenetproject.org] free speech. Real rebels wear masks. They are a neccessary safety device. That they are also the tools of trade for bank robbers does not change this.

    • Have they forgot how Chinese invaded Tibet and displaced the Buddhists? Has anybody forgot Tiananmen Square? They hunted down amateur and professional footage alike so they could go and assassinate the dissidents.

      For these, nobody cares anymore.

      Or in recent times, have they forgot about the forced abortions that the Chinese government puts women through for violating "Birth Law"?

      For these, people do either (1) illegally ultrasound the fetus to identify the gender and abort girls; (2) pay up the penalty (which is tiny for rich people); (3) fret away and give birth anyway.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cairnarvon (901868)
      "Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny."

      And how do you propose they do that when the vast majority don't realise the problem is that bad, or that they *could* do something about it?
      That's the entire point of censorship: to keep people in the dark about the gravity of their situation. And in almost all of mainland China, it's working perfectly.
    • Who I do feel sad for are the people who live there, as many of them did NOT bring this upon themselves, however, it IS up to them to free this country of an evil tyranny.

      So... let me get this straight. You're telling Chinese citizens to free themselves of "evil tyranny"? You're telling them to revolt against their government so that they could get themselves killed? Lose a chunk of the population, chuck a few people out the window? Well, of course that's the perfect solution! After thousands and thousands of deaths, the communist government will be overthrown and the world will be a better place. Thanks.

    • by rtb61 (674572)
      The ironical point is that modern corporations from western democratic countries are right in their helping the Chinese government maintain it's corporofascist government rule. From google censoring out freedom and democracy as well as providing a range of search tools to hunt down to those web dissidents, to high tech companies providing all the hardware required as well as the ability to manufacture more, so that the Chinese government to run those high tech public control and monitoring services.

      Seriou

  • by Prysorra (1040518) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:26PM (#19640387)
    I admit I'm a hopeless optimist, but look at it this way.

    Censorship is a tool used when you're losing control. Scary things are about to happen, and China doesn't anyone to know.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:45PM (#19640589) Journal

      Censorship is a tool used when you're losing control.
      That is an incredibly absurd thing to say. Censorship has been practiced in many societies for thousands of years. Censorship is about maintaining control. There have always been ways around censorship, but it works because the vast majority of people either do not know to circumvent it or are too frightened of the consequences to try.

      The Chinese Communists have been using censorship since the very beginning, so it's rather silly to state "It's a sign they're losing control", when it is simply the way things are done in China. The difference is now that circumventing that censorship is a good deal easier. It is forcing the Chinese government to be more responsive to the needs of people. It's a pity that these tools hadn't been available during truly tragic periods of recent Chinese history (The Great Leap Forward).
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao called in January for the Internet to be 'purified'

    Yes, purified I say. And, squish all bugs. Yes, every single bug is to be found and squished....

  • until the government starts spreading fear and terror and death threats.... you know, old commy style, so that even if it is easy to circumvent censorship, people will be so afraid to do so. And then they will have won the cat and mouse game.
  • Instead of titling this article: Citizen Journalism Combating Chinese Censorship, wouldn't it be more accurate to have said: Chinese Censorship Combating Citizen Journalism.
  • by NJVil (154697) on Monday June 25, 2007 @03:53PM (#19640711)
    Perhaps Google, Yahoo, and other bastions of the Internet will get right on this if they're asked nicely. They've got a proven track record when it comes to assisting oppressive governments.
  • China will be truly free from their commie overlords only when a soviet style revolution happens, or if there's a huge general uprising and overthrow of their beloved "leaders".

    China will never become another USA and it is foolish to want that. You'd probably see them becoming a socialist democracy sort of like a combination of India, Germany and Russia. That'll do for now.

    As for their inter-tubes, till their yoke is lifted, don't expect any miracles under their current administration.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you can read Chinese, try http://bbs.people.com.cn/ [people.com.cn]

    That's the billboard system hosted on China's highest ranking official propaganda website, controlled directly by the top propaganda division of the communist party. Well, just list a few post titles from the front page:

    - What does it tell that 70% of the corruptions and bribes are through the wives and mistresses?
    - Reporting the "black kiln" in sadness and horrors.
    - Is the Nanjing government going backwards in regulating the housing price?
    - 24 ways to e
    • by jamar0303 (896820)
      BTW- the "black kiln" story is the worst case of illegal child labor in China so far. The worst part- it went un-investigated for 10 years. I saw the news story on it (I live in China).
  • The story is attributed to Agence France-Presse [afp.com], the French newswire. Breitbart doesn't publish any content of their own; so far as I know, they're just an aggregator.

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