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China Says US Uses Facebook To Spread Political Unrest 274

Posted by kdawson
from the yeah-and-if-you-don't-watch-out-we'll-twitter-too dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "A Chinese government-backed think tank says the US and other western governments use Facebook and other social networking sites to spread political unrest. Their report says, 'We must pay attention to the potential risks and threats to state security as the popularity of social-networking sites continues to grow,' and calls for increased scrutiny of the sites."
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China Says US Uses Facebook To Spread Political Unrest

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  • Oh really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:05AM (#32864536)

    They clearly overestimate the deterministic nature of the average social network user.

    • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Narcocide (102829) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @03:12AM (#32865052) Homepage

      Clearly they have yet to realize that political unrest spreads itself. Facebook just makes it faster.

      • Re:Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @03:42AM (#32865150) Homepage

        I might have put it in different terms, but yeah, that's about the size of it.

        As I grow into an "older perspective" on life, I begin to see that much trouble occurs when people try too hard to block "the human condition." We are all people and we think and feel as people do. It doesn't matter what spot of dirt you were born on or even what culture(s) you were born into so much. In varying degrees, we all pretty much want the same things and will act in many of the same ways to get them. (with a wide variety of personal limitations) And certainly one thing all people have in common is that we want to express ourselves and I'm not even sure that's exclusive to humans as I am sure pet lovers might agree.

        The purpose of government is to serve society in a way that keeps it from destroying itself. I recognize what raw human desire, greed and ambition can drive people to do -- anything. That drive needs to be regulated for a healthy society to flourish. But without that raw human desire, there can be no healthy society and certainly no healthy individuals as our hopes and dreams are not so far removed from desire, greed and ambition. There are unquestionably good reasons why we have laws against murder and against theft. We need them to keep us from destroying one another. But going too far in the direction if controlling, limiting and containing the human spirit, which is what governments like China seek to do, and you will find people literally willing to die for the chance to express their thoughts and ideas.

        In the U.S., our constitution (or what's left of it) was written specifically, to prevent government from serving itself instead of society. It has managed to slow the progress of greedy and ambitious people who seek to limit people in order to enrich themselves. The rights to free speech and to bear arms weren't written on a whim and were all about limiting what the government can do, because without limitations, government (which is a smaller group of people who regulate larger groups of people) will do what humans will do without regulation imposed upon them which includes killing and stealing and other things.

        For China's government to assert that Facebook causes political unrest is nothing short of China's denial of what it means to be human. Every time I see censorship, I see one mind wishing to silence another mind. It just can't work that way... and it doesn't.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Mikkeles (698461)

          'The purpose of government is to serve society in a way that keeps it from destroying itself.'

          I would rephrase that as: The purpose of government is to serve people in a way that keeps them from destroying each other; in that any social institutions should be present for the benefit of people.
          Otherwise, it's just replacement of government with society as the raison d'etre for tyranny.

        • by rainmouse (1784278) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @10:09AM (#32866662)

          Murder rate in the USA is 42.8 per 1,000,000 people (freedom of speech and right to bear arms) Murder rate in the UK 14.0 per 1,000,000 people (freedom of speech) Murder rate in Hong Kong is 5.5 per 1,000,000 people (some limits on freedom)

          I'm not saying that freedom of arms and speech turn people into hate filled psycho's (certainly other countries with limited freedoms have very high murder rates) but culturally people are very different all over the world and a murder rate more than 8 times lower than the USA is not insignificant. We have no idea what the effect of radically altering someone's culture might have and like it or not, ceasing all forms of censorship in China will have a shock effect on many of the people living there. I am preferably interested to hear what people in China feel about these issues more than people in the West demanding on behalf of people in China.

          Please note that I had to use the rate for Hong Kong because China was apparently so low down as to not even be on the list of 62 highest murder rates, I note also that places under Sharia law were also absent from the list

          http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita

          Please note that I cannot vouch for either the accuracy or how recent these statistics are, but then you can say that about any posted statistics.

          Personally I believe in as much personal freedom as we can get, but I felt the need to provide some kind of balance to the discussion and sometimes I wonder if we really have the right to demand and impose our freedoms on other places that work in a very different way, despite what the above poster said that all humans are basically the same and want to kill steal and rape all day, I'd like to think otherwise.

          I would also like to quickly address the above poster who said "In the U.S., our constitution (or what's left of it) was written specifically, to prevent government from serving itself instead of society. It has managed to slow the progress of greedy and ambitious people who seek to limit people in order to enrich themselves."

          I would like to draw attention to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org] which states quite clearly "Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be... the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution."

          Like I said, freedoms are good, but our own implementation of them may not necessarily be the best method when considering some of the results.

          • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

            by erroneus (253617)

            I'm with you in all respects. I know where the U.S. has been going and I hate it tremendously. The U.S. is not what it once was and some would even say it never was what we thought it was. But in either case, the state of the nation has definitely slipped further from "American Ideals and Morality" (tm) than ever and it sickens me. We will never have an ideal society, but then I see idealism as a direction, not a goal. I am a U.S. flag waver... but I am also a U.S. flag burner.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Murder rate in the USA is 42.8 per 1,000,000 people (freedom of speech and right to bear arms)
            Murder rate in the UK 14.0 per 1,000,000 people (freedom of speech)
            Murder rate in Hong Kong is 5.5 per 1,000,000 people (some limits on freedom)

            I agree that the US isn't perfect but those statistics are kind of meaningless without context. The high murder rate isn't necessarily due to freedom of speech and right to bear arms. It may in fact go back to gang warfare and our inability to fully integrate certain aspects of our society. Obviously that's a problem but it's not due to freedoms.

            I would like to draw attention to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_inequality_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org] which states quite clearly "Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations. The more detailed the data we can use to observe this change, the more skewed the change appears to be... the majority of large gains are indeed at the top of the distribution."

            Income inequality is a real concern but I think the more relevant statistic is the poverty rate. America has one of the lowest in the world. Should poverty even

      • by zonky (1153039)
        Rubbish. Facebook has spread a generation of pointless twits who think that joining a meaningless group that they've forgotten about 15 minutes later is in anyway meaningful, useful or has any purpose.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          To be fair, they were twits beforehand, who thought that signing petitions they would forget about 15 minutes later was fighting for some cause.
  • by ChrisK87 (901429) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:08AM (#32864548)
    ...says the government that pays citizens by the post to write pro-government comments on Chinese blogs.
    • by the_womble (580291) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:44AM (#32864660) Homepage Journal

      In Asia "western governments" are used to justify bad legislation and censorship in the same way that terrorists and pedoophiles are used to justify the same in the west. There are so many handles you can use to push the sheeple where you want them to be.

      • In Asia? What a sweeping generalization. There are not many countries in Asia which has the kind of censorship China has.

        • by Risen888 (306092)

          Yeah, just China and North Korea and Thailand and Pakistan and...

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Ash Vince (602485)

            Yeah, just China and North Korea and Thailand and Pakistan and...

            Yet there is also South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, India, Israel, Kuwait and loads of other places.

            It is the worlds largest continent so of course it contains some dubious countries. It would be like saying the Americas (North, South, and Central) are full of dictatorships based on the few in central America and ignoring all the rest. Making accurate generalisations about the policatal make up of an entire continent is just not possible unless you are limiting them to saying they have humans living there and not

      • Maybe they should find somewhere else to sell to and do business with so, and China can take its 7% of US national debt and do what it likes with it. This kind of saying one thing out of one corner of your mouth and something else out of the other always comes back to bite one in the ass, once enough of your population take it seriously. I have to admit I'm a bit surprised that this level of cold war rhetoric is still rasping from the klaxons.
        • by hedwards (940851)
          7%? It's more like 70% of the US national debt. They can't afford to take it with them any more than we can afford to let them. It would be financial MAD.
    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Forget chinese blogs, they wrist pro-government stuff on any blog or website that has anti-PRC comments.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Oh yeah, and you capitalist pigs don't have your own paid citizens that break havocs in our internet ? So tell me, what is this 4chan thing ? Why would people behave in such a way if they were not paid ? heh ?
  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:09AM (#32864552)
    Most stable governments can survive a bit of political unrest and it's good for society in general.
    • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:19AM (#32864590) Journal
      It's worth mentioning that the Chinese have had the worst social unrest since perhaps the French revolution. The cultural revolution was a populist movement, pushed along by one man who had been sidelined in the government. Lots of people died, lots of great things were destroyed. Given that, it is kind of understandable that the Chinese are wary of avoiding popular unrest.

      Another point that needs to be taken into consideration is that the Chinese power structure is not all based in the national government. Just as in the US there is a constant struggle between state power and federal power, in China there is a struggle between the national government and regional governments. One method the national government has as a power lever is manipulation of the people; they are capable of fomenting unrest when they want to foment it (as during the Correfour riots [japantoday.com]. Some have speculated that the riots were aimed not at the French, but at the city governments to remind them who is in control).
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DDLKermit007 (911046)
        Actually it's not so much about local v federal. That's mostly to do with corruption, and not wanting to give up proffi...err control. They honestly could give two flips about autonomy unless you live in HK. The real issue that seems brewing to me is Western China military v Eastern China Government. What most know is the somewhat safe Eastern China where we get most of our shiny crap from. The Western China however seems to have more in common still with fudle lords of days long gone by. Just no one really
        • by mwvdlee (775178)

          fudle lords

          Not trying to be a grammar nazi here, but this sounds more like a Stooges-style comedy act than the feudal lords you obviously meant.

        • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @05:53AM (#32865500)
          Where have I encountered a landmass with an advanced society in the East and increasingly wild and ill-governed territory to the West in which native peoples were wiped out and had their culture destroyed? Oh yes.

          Now to make a serious point. One of the biggest problems of the US today stems from that time in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It's backward religions. Pioneers equipped with nothing but the Bible and no educated teachers went on to invent ridiculous religions - such as Mormonism and the wilder extremes of Southern Baptists - that continue to hold the US back socially and culturally today. (The same thing happened in South Africa, where the Dutch Reformed Church arose from semi-literate Boerdom.) The backward religions, just like fundamentalist Islam and settler-friendly perversions of Judaism, are well funded to gain support via the Internet.

          The Chinese actually need to use the Internet to stop the same thing happening there. The Internet can spread a wider view of the world. My guess is that the Chinese government is well aware of the argument I've outlined above, in far greater depth, and their policy is simply based around the traditional Chinese policy of using the media to spread cultural homogeneity, but with an eye to the undeveloped part of China rather than the developed part. This is far from stupid. Freedom of speech is all very well in a pluralistic Western society where you can look out of the window and see that people are lying, but much less effective for isolated agrarian communities with no standards of comparison.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:12AM (#32864568) Journal
    The obvious solution is to use social networks to their advantage, to manipulate the people.

    Seriously though, they do have something of a point, the US WOULD push social networking in China if they thought it would help bring freedom of speech to China. It's not the US government pushing social unrest, it's the people themselves communicating and finding out the problems with the government. I don't think the US government pushing anything would help anything though, and might even hurt in this case. Better to let the Chinese people find their own way, as long as they don't go insane.
    • by The Wooden Badger (540258) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:16AM (#32864580) Homepage Journal

      I don't care what they do with facebook. I just want them to friend me and join my mafia.

  • by retech (1228598) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:14AM (#32864574)
    No doubt the FBI, CIA and DHS log far more hours in Farmville than just regular folk. It's a conspiracy I tell ya!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cosm (1072588)

      No doubt the FBI, CIA and DHS log far more hours in Farmville than just regular folk. It's a conspiracy I tell ya!

      I would say citation needed, but the current state of affairs speaks for itself.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      I have never played Farmville, not do I care about Facebook, Myspace or whatever the most recent fad in social networking will be called, but can the farmers in Farmville have more than one child? Perhaps that would explain the political unrest.

      By the way "political unrest" is just another way of saying "the current government want to take away some of your rights".

  • Radio (Score:4, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:17AM (#32864584) Homepage

    What if the U.S. were to set up a radio station [wikipedia.org] across the border from a nation, and began broadcasting propaganda into said nation?

    The Slashdot community frequently criticizes the media for making arbitrary distinctions between the Internet and non-Internet realms -- time for some self-criticism.

    • Re:Radio (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:44AM (#32864656) Journal
      Oh, I have no doubt that, if they thought they had a shot at it, the feds would be shoving propaganda down every last tube in the series, social networks included.

      I'm just deeply unconvinced that something like Facebook, or any Facebook-esque clone, is a particularly effective medium for the US to spread political unrest in China(now, I can see a much stronger case for the US encouraging the spread of Facebook, ideally the real thing just so that we can make a buck on the side, or Facebook-esque sites within China, on the theory that they will magnify the effects of existing Chinese governmental problems).

      Something like Voice of America, whether it is effective or not, is relatively easy for the government to set up. Some radio hardware in the nearest friendly or at least not hostile location, just enough native language speakers to translate the programs, and a friendly news desk to churn out the message. Getting the same effect from a social networking site is harder. Or, rather, getting a precise analog of that effect is pretty easy: just set up a VOA fan page/RSS feed/twitter whatever that people can choose to follow(and the state can probably block, in many cases). Using the social network more subtly and effectively is hard. Even the most sympathetic Chinese are going to be pissed if they are getting machine-generated spam from CIA fronts; because everyone hates machine generated spam. And it isn't bloody likely that we have anywhere near enough analysts who speak reasonably idiomatic Chinese and don't have better things to do to actually infiltrate social networks on a personal level and do message shaping.

      Here is my guess: China, despite the authoritarian pretensions of its central government, has a great deal of trouble with corruption and mismanagement at the local level. When you combine that with a somewhat wild-west quasi-capitalist expansion, you get a recipe for a nearly constant stream of stories of abuses that would get all but the most dogmatically statist Chinese citizens upset. People's land basically being stolen by thugs with the connivance of local officials, blatantly illegal pollution poisoning people, fake baby formula with no actual nutritional content killing a few hundred babies by slow starvation, that sort of thing. The state doesn't generally approve of this sort of thing, often executing the perps; but it also generally does not approve of any spread of broader popular discontent about it. Some local anger is unavoidable; but censorship is frequently employed to slow the broader spread of the message until damage control and spin can be done. These are the sorts of situations where social networking tools could really make that task more difficult. Everybody is linked to their school buddies from back home, and their college buddies from wherever, and their work people from where they are now. Some nasty provincial scandal occurs back home, your highschool friend who stayed local tells you about it, you get upset and tell your college and work friends...

      If that is the sense in which China believes that the US is "using Facebook to spread political unrest", they may well be right. I'm sure the Feds aren't exactly crying bitter tears over that effect, and they may even be taking more direct actions in its favor(overt and covert cooperation between strategic corporations and nation states is neither new nor exclusive to the US...). If, on the other hand, they are suggesting that facebook is full of CIA agents pretending to be popular schoolgirls or something, they are either lying or dreaming. The CIA might wish that that were so; but there just is no way that they have enough Chinese-speaking agents to have any real effect on Chinese areas of facebook, and everybody hates spam, so simply bombarding Chinese users with machine messages would be counterproductive.
      • Here is my guess: China, despite the authoritarian pretensions of its central government, has a great deal of trouble with corruption and mismanagement at the local level. When you combine that with a somewhat wild-west quasi-capitalist expansion, you get a recipe for a nearly constant stream of stories of abuses that would get all but the most dogmatically statist Chinese citizens upset.

        Meh, they are probably just clearing the way for the Chinese facebook, just like they did with Google and the rest of them.

        • by AHuxley (892839)
          Radio, cult, ngo, wealth dreams, students, adult material, music, education, the CIA will get you one way or another and then the political rot sets in :)
    • You mean like The Zero Hour? [wikipedia.org]

      Of course, we aren't putting POWs on our radio for the sake of demoralization.

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      But we DO use Facebook for unrest. Just like our newspapers, TV programs, and yes, VOA. When the status quo is a dictatorship, then yeah, pretty much any kind of free press or communications is going to "foment unrest". So what? The only alternative is isolationism.

      Now, maybe you could make the argument that we should go back to defacto isolationism; we'll do things our way here, and you do things however you like over there. That used to be the way things were. However, if we change that, then we're abando

    • by magarity (164372)

      The Slashdot community frequently criticizes...
       
      ...Chinese policies and yet when I lived there last year I never had a problem getting it. YouTube, otoh, was never accessible.

    • What if the U.S. were to set up a radio station [wikipedia.org] across the border from a nation, and began broadcasting propaganda into said nation?

      Set up a numbers station http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_station [wikipedia.org] instead. It's more fun and sporting to keep them chasing their own tails, instead of flooding them with propaganda, which they can understand and refute.

      Now, what does that message mean, for whom it is for . . . ?

  • or Chinese-government-backed-think-tank?

    Perchance I wonder how many outrageous statements I could attribute to US government back think tanks if I tried.

    F this warmongering nonsense. There are fanatical Chinese nationalists, yes. What I don't appreciate is the fact that there are warmongering US nationalists who get their 'stories' posted to slashdot.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:24AM (#32864602)

    Why not just outbid the US Gov in a tapping bid? What could the market value be? Stasi and KGB would have needed a saliva bucket next to the bed for this.

  • by divisionbyzero (300681) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @12:27AM (#32864612)

    Given that the Chinese government pays people to do the very same thing on every Western media/blog site they come across. I seriously doubt the American government does the same. There is no need. Apparently the Chinese government can't tell the difference between real enthusiasm (even if implicit) for one's country and the enforced/coerced kind to which they are accustomed.

  • What are they doing, not "liking" China's status updates ? Perhaps people are joining groups titled "If a million people join this group, we will overthrow Hu Jintao" Gee China, paranoid much ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macshit (157376)

      There are plenty of FB groups/fan-pages like "free tibet", pro falun-gong, etc (and stuff like "free the monks in burma" which is not directly related to China, but which nonetheless likely makes the chinese government nervous), and those may be what they're whining about.

      It's very unclear whether such groups make any actual difference in practice, even if they have many members, but they do help to keep such issues an active subject of popular discussion, and of course the chinese government royally freak

    • I wonder how long that group would last if you actually created it. I admit I would be sorely tempted to join, just to make a couple of Chinese officials sweat a little.

  • All elbowing each other side for the chance to date ME! Luscious, luscious me.

    I would post more about my sexy good looks are spreading unrest throughout the world, but I have to be at the gym in 26 minutes...

  • by kainosnous (1753770) <kainosnous@lavabit.com> on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:00AM (#32864714) Homepage

    No government really welcomes free speech. Some may claim that they do, but actions speak louder than words. The only interest that a government has in free communication is when they have a firm grip over it's contents. It just happens that the US and other western governments have measures already in place to control or obfuscate the information on the web and in the media.

    They create tools such as the Fairness Doctrine [wikipedia.org], and generally flood the people with "different viewpoints" to muddy the waters. China's issue is that it has spent so much time trying to shut down the internet that it really hasn't been able to get the control that it would like. That's where this campaign comes in. It's the Chinese who are now muddying the waters. They come up with some reports that claim that the west is actively trying to hurt them. Then, when people see something online, the Chinese government can say "It's all lies made up by west. Trust us instead."

    In time, and with the rise of contentless Flash pages and product ads, the web will probably stop being useful for information to any but the hardcore nerd with time and tools to push past the fluff. Where are all the RDF search engines that we were promised? With HTML5 I hear people talking a lot about video playback functionality, but I haven't heard any buzz about the semantic web. A web that gives you only pretty pictures won't help the world, and likewise won't hurt a government.

    • by goodmanj (234846)

      A web that gives you only pretty pictures won't help the world, and likewise won't hurt a government.

      No? How about these pretty pictures?
      (Wikileaks video of US military killing civilians)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0&has_verified=1 [youtube.com]

      (Tienanmen Square)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man [wikipedia.org]

      (Protests against Iranian election results)
      http://mashable.com/2009/06/20/iran-youtube/ [mashable.com] ...and that's just a start. We as geeks may have buzzwords like "semantic web" that we like to
      trot out, but the fact is

  • Just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_revolution#Soros_foundation_and_U.S._influence [wikipedia.org]
    You also have "US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev"
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/nov/26/ukraine.usa
  • by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:11AM (#32864748) Homepage Journal

    That's it. I am unfriending China.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @01:14AM (#32864754)

    This goes to something I've been saying for years now. The U.S. has some pretty impressive military power, but that's not what scares the world's dictators, religious zealots, and oppressive regimes. What do they fear about us? Rock 'n' roll, short skirts, blue jeans, and *especially* cell phones, e-mail, and Facebook.

    The U.S. does a lot of things poorly, including, lately, waging ground wars. But one thing we're still very very good at: coming up with new ways for the world's young people to mock and ridicule authority figures, and for adults to talk to each other freely without government interference.

    The cell phone, the 18" satellite dish, and the Internet are the most terrifying weapons against autocratic states the world has ever known. Is Facebook a threat to oppressive regimes? HELL YES, and we should be proud of that.

    U.S. foreign policy should recognize this fact, and use it to its advantage. Rather than planning air strikes against Iranian and North Korean nuclear sites, we should be flying over and dropping cell phones, laptops, and MP3 players loaded with Rage Against the Machine and Ani diFranco.

  • And here I thought it was completely useless.

  • Somebody planted the seeds of unrest...

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Actually Farmville is more of a danger to China.
      Imagine all the office workers around the world who waste time on checking up on their farms and therefore reducing real life productivity.

  • facebook is simply free speech

    and in china, the simple act of free speech is a politicized concept. politicized by the chinese government

    the chinese government has defined speech as not free, so anyone who engages in it is by that very act of speaking freely engaging in political unrest, according to the parameters established by the chinese government

    and all the chinese government has done is defined their own weakness. most of the time, you speak freely, and if they don't like it, they send you to work ca [guardian.co.uk]

  • by Kenja (541830)
    How do you spread political unrest amongst an apathetic public?
  • by identity0 (77976) on Sunday July 11, 2010 @02:06AM (#32864908) Journal

    I wonder if the Chinese gov't (or other regimes) have thought of just using Facebook to track down the networks of friends and acquaintences of dissidents, instead of banning it.

    During the Cultural Revolution, they said "Let a thousand flowers bloom", meaning they let dissident and anti-regime opinions flow unrestricted, suddenly free of censorship. But instead of listening to those ideas and implementing them, after a short period of freedom they cracked down and jailed those who had raised 'bad' opinions after they had revealed themselves. The promise of free speech had been a trap. I wonder if the same sort of thing could happen with online social media?

    People in the west talk about privacy violations of Facebook, but imagine if a bad gov't got its hands on all that data and data mined it...

  • Honestly, I'd love to get paid by the CIA to use Facebook. Maybe then I'd start playing Farmville or some shit.

  • Wow... Does this mean that the Chinese government is also using Baidu Space [baidu.com] to spread political unrest here in the US?

    Maybe Gen. Jack D. Ripper was right, and they're using it to pollute our bodily fluids!

  • The Chinese government know nothing about freedom of speech, all of it's statement is for it's own benefit. As a Chinese live in Hong Kong, we're trying hard to achieve freedom of speech but we're already under heavy attack of all the pro-Beijing propaganda. Yet they want to stretch their hands to western world, Trying to discuss or reply to it proof futile, just ignore the annoying Chinese government.
  • Just the existence of an outlet where people can voice their concerns "spreads political unrest."

    If people don't know how badly the government is treating them or their neighbor there is certainly less unrest.

    If people don't realize that there are others that want to make changes as well, they are more likely to keep still. Less unrest that way, too.

    It unfortunately seems that part of the entire idea is to get people to talk to one another! Surely that can't be good for a restful totalitarian state, can i

  • subject says it all. Quit blaming *.* for your political unrest. YOU are the common factor. Time for some self-reflection here methinks.

  • We generate just as much unrest for domestic consumption as is generated (usually by local residents) overseas. But we have a system that is tolerant of dissent and free speach. Think of it as political Darwinism. Our system is more likely to suceed under these stresses that those of China or Iran.

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