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China Blocks YouTube Over Tibet Videos 343

Posted by Zonk
from the stopping-the-signal dept.
Screaming Cactus writes "Internet users in China were blocked from seeing YouTube.com on Sunday after dozens of videos about protests in Tibet appeared on the site. 'Chinese leaders encourage Internet use for education and business but use online filters to block access to material considered subversive or pornographic. Foreign Web sites run by news organizations and human rights groups are regularly blocked if they carry sensitive information. Operators of China-based online bulletin boards are required to monitor their content and enforce censorship.' The blocking added to the communist government's efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule."
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China Blocks YouTube Over Tibet Videos

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  • Re:How long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imkow (1021759) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:13PM (#22767652) Homepage
    Soon after you can write chinese ....:D

    btw, a greeting from the Red China
  • by Jrabbit05 (943335) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:15PM (#22767668)
    I don't see how we continue to support the olympics in such a country. It's not that they're communist. It's not that they're corrupt. It's that they're against the very fundamental freedoms that the olympics represents.
  • Re:urgh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ndnspongebob (942859) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:31PM (#22767744)
    ummmm......so China should take over Tibet for buicks? or some modern life? who gets to judge what is modern life? the Chinese or Tibetans? Every country has its own ways and its own problems, and they would rather have their own problems instead of some alien power coming and trying to solve those problems. People have already died, for modern life? wtf I would rather live with nothing and just be happy instead of having a modern life and dead. Thank you very much.
  • craziness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deanalator (806515) <pierce403@gmail.com> on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:42PM (#22767806) Homepage
    If you want to see something crazy, check out the political spam in the comments of these videos. It is unbelievable the ratio of how many people are calling Tibetans liars and cheering on the Chinese. These are recent posts calling the Dalai Lama a terrorist ringleader. It confuses me that so many people outside the great firewall are posting this stuff.

    Anyone want to help me mod these comments down, and rate these videos up?
  • by dbcad7 (771464) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:43PM (#22767812)
    Not to nitpick, but how are the Olympics representative of fundamental freedoms ?

    It's a sports competition between countries.. That you apply a sense of patriotism to it, and extrapolate your ideals to it, is nice.. but there are other countries participating that have different ideals... If you only want to compete with people with your own ideals, then you would just do your own competition in you own country.
  • by qbzzt (11136) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:51PM (#22767850)
    Since when have the Olympic games (Berlin in 1936, Moscow in 2000) been about freedom and democracy? They're about showing off to the world and bragging.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @05:55PM (#22767872)

    I don't see how we continue to support the olympics in such a country. It's not that they're communist. It's not that they're corrupt. It's that they're against the very fundamental freedoms that the olympics represents.
    This is true. However, short of having the Olympics in Scandinavia every time, it's really hard to see where better alternatives exist. The next Olympics are in London. The UK has more breaches of the right to privacy than any other country on Earth. Theoretically it has a free press -- but only theoretically -- the BBC is governement own and News Corp Internation owns in full or part almost everything else.

    It would be ironic if China were to boycott the UK for just that reason -- but in many ways they would have every right to do so.

    If everyone would just focus on fixing the corruption in their own governments, rather than name-calling other countries, the World would be a much better place. Forget Eastasia, lets focus on the real enemies within Oceania.
  • by jonfr (888673) * on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:05PM (#22767924) Homepage
    China has installed a media blackout (Chinese public doesn't know what is going on), they don't want to get the same response as Burma did get when the protest where cursed there few months back. But not only that, China government has also closed down the border zone between China and Tibet. Preventing tourist and reporters to get inside the occupied country. They do this as they don't want a new 1989 for the world to see. Chinese news agents are spewing out propaganda at the moment, nothing that comes from them is accurate or true on what is happening.

    Let's not forget the fact that China did invade Tibet in 1950 and claimed Tibet as there own, while Tibet is in fact indepent country that is military occupied. While in fact that is not the case. U.N should have for long time protested the China occupation of Tibet long time ago. It is however sad fact that the business deals prevent that from happening.

    I expect information on the action of Chinese military forces to come to light soon. As I expect that the information is going to get out one way or an other. View of the Chinese public are based on what the government chooses to tell them, not necessary the facts of what is going on.

    We are going to see more bloodshed to happen in Tibet for some time now. However, it is as question how much of it reaches international media.
  • by rucs_hack (784150) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:14PM (#22767978)
    Can it be argued that chinese actions in Tibet and their language with regards to Taiwan is a model of enlightened society? What a joke.

    Ok then, can it be argued that the way the US treats Cuba is in any way still appropriate? How much have the people of Cuba suffered because the US won't relax its embargo?

    I mean, yes, they fucked up... IN THE SIXTIES!!!111one.
    Seriously, shouldn't we be able to move on?

    If you ask me, that's what's kept Castro and his friends in power for so long.

    The point is, China isn't alone in acting stupidly towards other countries. It doesn't excuse them, but lets keep a sense of proportion about this.
  • Re:How long... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by imkow (1021759) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:16PM (#22767992) Homepage
    yeah, i have just tried to put some chinese characters in here. they didnt show up.. the slashdot site seem less open than the microsoft site.
    that should be not the way.
  • by megaditto (982598) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:29PM (#22768078)
    Fox News is just one of many TV networks in the US, and offers a unique -and different- perspective on things compared to the other 90% of media out there.

    You may consider it propaganda, but nobody is forcing you to watch it, and nobody goes around shutting down liberal stations, arresting liberal TV sponsors, or shooting liberal journalists. If anything, Fox is against the kind of socialist media controls and regulations that would allow the Russia-type abuses in America.

    How you think Fox News resembles anything in Russia is beyond me.
  • by omegashenron (942375) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:37PM (#22768140)

    You are over simplifying things. Western provinces can't survive without the East, why do you think so many people from the West travel to the East for work. If they become separate and independent, say goodbye to an open border.

    As for Taiwan, they're just as bad as the PRC. Taiwan asserts ownership over all of mainland China (actually this view varies depending on which political party gets elected). Taiwan with its democracy is more corrupt than the CCP, just look at Chen Shui-bian. He would be under house arrest or in front of a firing squad if he pulled that shit in the PRC. The Western media didn't make a big deal out of his affairs because he is an ally.

    Giving in to Taiwan would be like having let the Southern States form their own country. Furthermore, if your into "human rights" look at how Taiwans native tribes were treated by the Taiwanese Hans who took over.

    If you have never lived in China, you don't know anything about the situation and should not comment.

  • Re:Why only Tibet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:53PM (#22768276) Homepage Journal
    It's really rather simple.

    The Tibetans have a charismatic, articulate and eloquent spokesman in the Dalai Lama. Here in the US he's probably the most venerated spiritual leader in the US outside of the Pope or the conservative protestant movement. He's almost the chief rabbi for large swath of American intellectuals who think of themselves as "spiritual" but not aligned with a conservative religious movement and who eschew formal theological dogma.

    So, in a way the Chinese leadership is right on the mark when they talk about a "Dalai Clique".

    The thing that makes him a tough opponent in this game is that he's so darned reasonable and mild mannered. He's not calling for armed uprising. He's not even insisting on national sovereignty. He refuses to act angry, or even wronged. He just insists that the Chinese leadership should talk, and listen with an open mind.

    The thing is, there's a lot about the old Tibetan system that is ugly and bad -- along with much that is admirable and good. The Chinese would love people to think about the abuses of the old monastic system when they think of Tibet. But can't oppose somebody like the Dalai Lama without being nakedly blunt about their own unreasonableness and brutality, which makes everything they do an international embarrassment to their country. And that makes this news.

    You're absolutely right, we should be concerned with other places where minorities are oppressed for their religious, cultural, racial or linguistic characteristics. But you can't focus on all the tyrants in the world at once. You focus on the ones that can be made representative of tyranny, in the hope that they some day they will become representative of the futility of tyranny.
  • Re:China = Muslim? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ccarson (562931) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @06:55PM (#22768286)
    I think what the above poster meant was that their attempts to control their population is similar to many extremist muslim countries. I think it's safe to say, based on China's past, the Chinese government tends to try and control what the average Chinese citizen sees and hears. If their philosophy is correct, why wouldn't they let the chips fall where they may and let truth prevail? To me, their attempts to silence information is testament to their fear their ideals won't hold water.

    All I'm asking is why won't the Chinese government engage in intellectual debates instead of pretending differences don't exist?
  • by reallocate (142797) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @07:31PM (#22768582)
    Because absolute moral consistency is not a prerequisite for doing the right thing.

    More to the point, no one is blocking Texan access to the net, or anything else for that matter. Texans, and Mexicans, are fully aware of their history. The Chinese people are not aware of Tibet's recent history because the government controls the media and their access to the net.

    Besides, Mexico acquired Texas by force from Spain, which had acquired it by force from any number of indigenous peoples, who, in turn, were often at each other's throats. How far back do you want to go? Few of us, if anyone, live on land that was not forcibly taken from someone else at some point in history.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:32PM (#22769012)

    Giving in to Taiwan would be like having let the Southern States form their own country

    See, this is the bit I don't get. I can't speak for Americans but if a reasonable chunk of my current country of residence democratically voted in some kind of referendum to break away and form their own country I'd say "best of luck, don't forget to stamp my passport when I visit next week", not "we're sending in the tanks you bastards".

    What right does a population of one part of a poorly defined "country" have to declare that a certain other part can't run their own affairs? So long as the decision is come to freely, and generally without corruption - like most elections are intended to be - then why the threats of violence?

    The very notion of a "country" is rather quaint anyway, and this desperate clinging to former ink boundaries in places like China, the former Yugoslavia, and others (even Ireland - though they've at least eventually settled themselves down peacably) is rather sad, and inevitably all about greed.

    If the majority of the population of the island of Taiwan freely choose to become independent, why stop them? If the majority of Californians freely choose to become Californination, why stop them?Hell, if the majority of Califonians freely choose to become part of Peru (and the Peruvian government agrees), why stop them?

    The only answers are political power, and greed for resources. Neither of which are valid answers in a world of reasonable human beings.

    Captcha for this message : "childish" - which is exactly what the Chinese government - and others, let there be no doubt the Chinese aren't the only ones - are being.

  • by Non-Newtonian Fluid (16797) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:41PM (#22769054)
    > If you have never lived in China, you don't know anything about the situation and should not comment.

    I've lived in both China and Taiwan. I was also a Chinese major, speak, read and write Chinese, and have a fair amount of friends from mainland China (both peasants and city dwellers) and Taiwan. I also have a number of friends that are members of the CCP. Does this qualify me to comment?

    > As for Taiwan, they're just as bad as the PRC.

    Have you lived in Taiwan before?

    Taiwan is nothing like the PRC. In the PRC, corruption permeates to even the most petty of bureaucrats, who must be bribed for simple things like marriage licenses and being allowed to continue to farm your own meager plot of land. Seeing the money wasted by mid-level party officials at their 3 hour "liquid lunches" in Beijing (and hearing about it from my friends in the party) was stomach-turning, knowing what the families of my friends were going through as peasants. (My friend's younger sister -- 13 years old -- worked 15 hour days, 7 days a week in a windowless factory to help support her family, and made herself sick in the process.)

    Taiwan does not assert ownership over the mainland -- what sloppy thinking! The Nationalist Party asserts that it is the rightful ruling party of all of China, and so desires unification. Other parties' desires and opinions vary.

    When the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan, they massacred quite a large number of people they feared were leftists. This was probably Taiwan's greatest human-rights tragedy. But that has been acknowledged and apologized for, for what little it's worth. Don't expect that kind of acknowledgment in the PRC, though, where Tibet has always been a part of China, China never invaded Vietnam, the Korean war started when the US invaded North Korea, and serious human rights violations never happen.
  • by rabiddeity (941737) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:43PM (#22769064) Homepage

    As for Taiwan, they're just as bad as the PRC. Taiwan asserts ownership over all of mainland China (actually this view varies depending on which political party gets elected). Taiwan with its democracy is more corrupt than the CCP, just look at Chen Shui-bian. He would be under house arrest or in front of a firing squad if he pulled that shit in the PRC. The Western media didn't make a big deal out of his affairs because he is an ally.


    Taiwan's policy of asserting ownership of all China is strictly for political reasons, and if you knew anything about the politics you'd understand that. China's policy is that if Taiwan declares independence, China goes to war with Taiwan (and would militarily steamroll it, because nobody else wants to intervene). While devastating to world opinion, it wouldn't stop China from doing it just to make a point. So instead of declaring independence, Taiwan makes the ridiculous claim that China should be unified... under the Taiwanese government. Amazingly, this non-confrontation policy has befuddled China's government for the past 50 years or so. China drew a clear line in the sand, and Taiwan has managed to keep its elected government without crossing it.

    Taiwan's democratically elected government may be corrupt, but there is still open debate and freedom of the press. Hell, they're having political rallies [bbc.co.uk] a few days before an election, right now! The PRC's bureaucracy may well be corrupt, but there's a good chance that only party officials would find out about it. And even if they did, it's up to the party to change things, which they will only do if it's in their best interest. In Taiwan, people can vote out corrupt officials. If you think that'll ever happen in the PRC as it is, I have some beachfront property in Xinjiang you might be interested in.
  • by djeca (670911) on Sunday March 16, 2008 @08:51PM (#22769100)
    How the fuck did this get modded insightful?

    Try reading the Olympic Charter [olympic.org] - there are principles (idealistic perhaps) that everyone connected in any way to the Olympics has to agree to: "respect for universal fundamental ethical principles" ... "Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement."

    The Olympics might not always live up to the ethical standards it sets itself, but trying to reduce it to the level of a consumerist spectacle displays a breathtaking level of malicious ignorance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 16, 2008 @09:05PM (#22769174)
    What's more ironic is how Youtube is censoring the comments of these videos, and purposely capped the view number.

    Many of my fellow Chinese citizens living aboard are finding their comments to these video being removed with no reason, while the only voice allowed is the pro-tibet-independence.

    Talking about censorship and freedom of speech!

    Wake up, you arrogant Americans! You are living in a country no more free than China, where all public medias are manipulating the videos and photographs of this Tibet incident to show how bad Chinese government is, but in fact it were the mobs that killed innocent people, set fire on shops, burn down vehicles. The Chinese government may not be the best government in the world, but they are at least protecting the innocents and rescuing people including foreigners from the place. This time your sympathy are on the wrong side! You are advocating the murderers and terrorists, all as a result of being manipulated by the western media, whose only mind is only to be "policitally correct" rather than to report the fact.

    I'm prepared that this post will get modded down, as I know as a matter of fact, there is no freedom of speech anywhere.

  • Re:Hate... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday March 17, 2008 @01:48AM (#22770556)
    A surprising percentage of people that post stuff like this are American often born in Democrat stronghold like California. I would say a "blue state", but the phrase annoys me. I wish Americans would use standard terminology. Here is a quick primer

    Rest of the world.

    "Red" - Socialist or at least left of centre, after the colours of the Communist party. The UK Labour party often uses red themed logos, as do most left wing parties in Europe, Canada and Asia. The opposite of the "Blue block"
    "Blue" - Liberal.
    "Liberal" - a believer in free markets, free elections and minimal government. Margaret Thatcher called herself a liberal.

    Americans have a tiresome habit of using all of these not just incorrectly but meaning the exact opposite what they mean in the rest of the world.

    America

    "Red" - The Republicans. Originally economic liberals, they now believe that the US governments' remit extends to bringing democracy to the middle east. It's hard to see that Milton Friedman would have supported this. Fiscally grossly irresponsible and with a annoying tendency to preach on social issues, like the Labour party in the 1970's.
    "Blue" - The Democrats. Heavy support from the unions. Activists often rant on the Internet about how the Republicans are worse than Hitler which is just plain silly, but quite competent the last time they were in government.
    "Liberal" - quasi socialist policies allegedly favoured by the Democrats.
  • Re:China = Muslim? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rtb61 (674572) on Monday March 17, 2008 @04:08AM (#22770970) Homepage
    The Chinese government is an autocracy, is it not really a government of China, it is just a government of a few self serving control freaks who prosper while the majority suffer and serve. They obviously want to maintain total control over what the majority hear, say or do, lest the majority realise that the government should serve and protect the majority rather than empower and enrich the minority.

    So just like any sane person from a modern free democracy, there is no fear that the autocrats ideals 'won't hold water', there is an absolute certainty that the autocrats ideals 'don't hold water' and the only way they can hold back freedom and democracy is with carefully managed lies and the point of a bayonet.

    The current Chinese governments insists it has the right to use military aggression to maintain and obtain dominance over countries based upon the flimsiest of historical ties, so Tibet, Taiwan, and even Korea as well as some other regions suffer under oppression or the threat of future aggression.

    That the Olympics should be held in autocratic countries at all, points to that fact that Olympic sized profits and marketing deals take precedence over the ideals and values of amateur athletes from the past. Although it already appears that some athletes are bowing out rather than taking the risk of exposure to carcinogenic pollutants prevalent in the Beijing environment.

  • by remmelt (837671) on Monday March 17, 2008 @05:44AM (#22771358) Homepage
    The "other side" somehow conveniently forgets that in the 1950 it invaded Tibet [wikipedia.org], a sovereign nation. Fencing with the opinion of a bunch of kids doesn't make it right. Tibet was invaded and now the Chinese want to modernise it; what exactly is the other side to that story?
  • Re:craziness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Transcendz (955938) on Monday March 17, 2008 @01:39PM (#22775092)
    All of your explanation is made on the fact that the old system was bad, but then why didn't tibetan people asked for change ? Were they pleased when chinese army came through their borders to destroy their monasteries/culture and kill most of them without any diplomacy ? BTW, your comment about buddhisme is a great offense to people who have to deal with the occupation of their country for almost 50 years now. Most of the people who used violence were young people who are fed up with the Dalai Lama's "middle way" based on dialogue. Should we blame them ? Your last paragraph about throwing money to solve the problem is even more shocking : Do you mean that during WWII the germans would have won against french/english people just by throwing money at them ? Being free in your country has no price. And so much about Tibet which was always a part of China : China was once a part of Mongolia, should chinese give it back, then ?. History has a time line : when a country is independent from another, has a proper language, culture, rules, then you have no right to invade it if there was no threat.

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