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Censorship China The Internet Your Rights Online

Greatfire Keeps Tabs On Chinese Censorship, Automatically 30

Posted by timothy
from the perhaps-too-automatically dept.
First time accepted submitter percyalpha writes "Greatfire is a website that automatically monitors Internet censorship in China. Recently, we improved our system to share all testing data with Herdict, a project at Harvard University on Internet blockages. User reports on Herdict of websites inaccessible in China are automatically imported into our system, and our data of websites blocked in China is also exported into the Herdict database. If you ever explore the first ten pages of the Herdict database, chances are all block reports are from China and imported from our system."
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Greatfire Keeps Tabs On Chinese Censorship, Automatically

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  • by Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @05:36PM (#41102715)
    An old employee of mine was Chinese, she was a international student and now again lives in China. I put forward this 'digital great wall of China' argument in an conversation, about it was killing free speech, democracy, human rights etc. She told told me that she just couldn't comprehend. She was living in the west now for about 3 years or so, enough to have a good taste of 'western values'.
    Her point was: <quote>The west has Muslims with their hatespeech towards jews, and all is well because they are a miority, but if the same thing is said by (white) neo-nazi's then suddenly it is wrong. The western politicians basically tell you what you can or cannot hear, and it is fine. But, the second OUR government decides that WE are not allowed to hear something, THEN it is all wrong. What kind of a double standard is that?<unquote>
    Then I tried to tell her that I dont want the government to get involved in freedom of speech AT ALL. One can disagree about something, but then lets agree to disagree. This was also strange to her, because: <quote>You chose those people to speak up for you right?? That is what you call democracy isn't it?<unquote>
    I dont want to start a flamewar here, just give it a thought, try to see it from their perspective.
    I felt almost felt sorry for her, being between hammer and anvil.
  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @07:37PM (#41104045)
    I don't think this is a problem for the Chinese dissidents. Heck, just look at the number of Chinese who come to the west to study abroad and still go back to China willingly. The Chinese dissidents who want to read uncensored news easily have the ability to. From what I've observed life in "communist" China seems to be like how life was in the later part of "communist" Russia, that the government pretends to control them and they pretend to be controlled.

    The thing is, China is a whole lot more collectivist than the US where even if they had the ability to do something, they wouldn't because they've been told lies all their life about how you've got to give up freedoms to have prosperity for others...
  • by ideonexus (1257332) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @08:33PM (#41104467) Homepage Journal

    Actually, NPR ran a story on this recently. It turns out China doesn't really censor criticism of the government, but they do censor attempts to organize [npr.org]. If you want to call the Chinese government a corrupt evil organization, the censors will usually allow it, but if you want to have a barbecue and invite more than 10 people to it, they will take that content down.

    This actually groks with what I've seen on the Chinese version of twitter/facebook weibo [weibo.com]. There's plenty of criticism of government organizations some fair and some I was surprised the censors were allowing (my favorite innocuous criticisms were in a thread on school buses after a crash killed a dozen children, where many commenters were posting pictures of American school buses (which look like tanks) and saying we were doing it right), but I have never seen anything about attending concerts, parties, or other public events. I didn't think anything of it until reading the NPR article.

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