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China Erases New Internet Rumors, Shuts Down Sites

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  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:14PM (#39677907)

    They are blocking free speech by users. Surely there must be some "twinge" in their brains that says, "This is wrong to take down people's posts."

    I find it a bit disturbing that EU and US leaders are saying China is a good model to follow.

  • Weird (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Securityemo (1407943) on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:16PM (#39677937) Journal
    Why would a government, even a repressive one, crack down on rumors for no reason? Is unfounded rumors (not actual dissent, mind, but weird stuff like this) spreading and causing actual trouble a problem in China?
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardpriceNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:17PM (#39677953)

    I'm in two minds, because the rumours highlighted in the summary specifically seem orientated toward creating panic and unrest within a large population - how do you deal with that while maintaining free speech?

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:26PM (#39678067)

    Don't censor free speech. The adult citizens should be intelligent enough to realize the rumors are just lies, and develop skepticism about the things they read.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:31PM (#39678133) Homepage

    ... Beijing Police arrested a man believed to have shouted "Fire!" in the crowded downtown theatre where dozens of movie viewers were injured in the mad stampede to evacuate. Fortunately there were no deaths. Fire officials found no evidence there had been any fire, smoke, or any risk of a fire. A theatre official said the theatre is a modern one built to the utmost safety standards.

  • by rednip (186217) <rednip@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:51PM (#39678399) Journal

    The adult citizens should be intelligent enough to realize the rumors are just lies, and develop skepticism about the things they read.

    After a while one would think that people would stop watching fictionalized reports, but Fox News and talk radio proves that there will always be a market for yellow journalism no matter how discredited they may become. However the Chinese leaders should understand that one of the reasons why rumors spread so intensely is a serious lack of objective non-government infotainment that would keep the public informed if/when the people again try to rise up for democracy. The quick spread of such rumors might even show that it's expected, if not hoped.

  • by Twintop (579924) <david@twintop-tahoe.com> on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:56PM (#39678493) Homepage Journal

    You're trying to use the metric of countries = largest civilization. Any extraterrestrial visitors (probably) wouldn't know where China's borders were. My guess is they would go to the areas with the most light emitted at night [cg-files.com], which would probably be Western Europe, Eastern Seaboard of the US, or Japan.

  • by brit74 (831798) on Friday April 13, 2012 @04:39PM (#39679055)
    To be fair, when it comes to distorting and spinning the news, FOX News and Talk Radio are the most obvious examples. A few months back, I heard one right-wing talk radio host go on for quite a while about how there will be no 2012 election because Obama is going to declare himself dictator over the United States and rule for the next forty years. (No, I'm seriously not making that up. And people think right-wing distortions of reality are no worse what happens on the left.) True, the MSNBC tape was edited and the producer was fired. The most unfortunate thing about that incident is that now the right-wing media gets to pretend that they're no worse than anyone else and that they don't distort the news worse than anyone else. Heck, even Newt Gingritch and Rick Santorum have said that FOX News has a bias (http://reallyfoxnews.tumblr.com/post/20975850816/i-assume-its-because-rupert-murdoch-at-some):

    "In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than Fox this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That’s just a fact." - Newt Gingritch

    It seems to me that Rupert Murdoch longs for the days when News Agencies can throw around their weight as kingmakers in political races.

  • by brit74 (831798) on Friday April 13, 2012 @04:55PM (#39679303)
    They are blocking free speech by users. Surely there must be some "twinge" in their brains that says, "This is wrong to take down people's posts."

    I'm sure that the Chinese leaders and censors are doing this stuff because they believe it's for the betterment of Chinese society and China as a nation. In their view, they're removing lies that get people all stirred up, they're silencing the rebel-rousers inciting people to do something bad, the no-good / ill-informed "rebels" are harming the stability and legitimacy of the Chinese government (whom they most likely believe are doing a good job compared to all the alternatives), the "rebels" are dangerous to China's continued economic growth (which would help Chinese people in general and China's position internationally), the censors are maintaining stability and the status-quo in society and preventing an unknown and destructive anarchy. I'm betting those are the beliefs in their heads, and it would mean that they don't feel guilty about what they're doing. It doesn't actually require that Chinese censors are motivated by an evil self-interest.

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