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China Censorship Government Social Networks The Internet The Media Your Rights Online Politics

Chinese Internet Firms Punished For Permitting Spread Of Political Rumors 75

First time accepted submitter rover42 writes "Major Chinese sites Sina and Webo 'have been legally punished for permitting the spread of unfounded rumors. Specifically, the report cites unfounded rumors that were spreading like wildfire on Sina Weibo of an attempted coup d'etat happening in Beijing.' The source is the state-run Xinhua." Sadly for the people of China (even if they like it this way), this seems to be in line with the Chinese government's general attitude toward the Internet.
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Chinese Internet Firms Punished For Permitting Spread Of Political Rumors

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  • by jpapon ( 1877296 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @04:15AM (#39532723) Journal
    So now not only do they have to police for content, they have to police for truth?? Yikes.
  • by FaxeTheCat ( 1394763 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @04:56AM (#39532827)
    ...or even news to you, then you have not been paying attention.
    And it is not just in line with the Chine government general attitude towards the internet. It is in line with their general attitude towards any public exchange of information. Internet did not change the attitude, it just made it more difficult to enforce.
    Now, start looking for some of the same attitude elsewhere. Lots of people want to control information and define the truth. It is just that the Chinese are more obvious about it and more successful than most.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2012 @05:30AM (#39532923)

    - Someone phoned me and said there's a revolution!
    - Quick! Punish the phone company!

    That would be like closing MegaUpload because their users shared illegal content.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @05:56AM (#39532987)

    The public has no opinion. You might as well point out how many people voted for Saddam Hussein... I think it was over 98 percent.

    How likely do you think it is that 83 percent of Chinese people actually agree with internet censorship? And what does that even mean? That something should be censored? I mean, most people are not found of horse-porn or whatever horrible mind searing abomination could conceivably be dredged up by the folks at 4chan. But there is a world of difference between not wanting to see child porn everywhere and agreeing with the systematic domination of all public discourse.

    That domination is complete in China. Everything is censored, controlled, tweaked, threatened, bullied, or groupthinked into "order"...

    The chinese neither like nor dislike it. They have no right to an opinion either way.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @06:14AM (#39533041)

    So, the chinese are, by your definition, not human? Because humans have opinions on things. They tend like or dislike them. And so on.

    Or is it so unacceptable that they simply have a different culture, with different points of importance for them?

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @06:47AM (#39533141)

    Why do people think strawmen are valid arguments? It's really quiet odd. They just make up an opinion, impose it on someone else, and then argue against that as if the first person said that.

    Why are you supporting child molestation by the way? That's disgusting.

    As to humans and opinions, no humans don't necessarily have opinions. It depends on the intellectual and social environment they exist in. Imagine you live in a religious cult... do you have lots of opinions that are at odds with the cult? Probably not because the whole cult is designed to control what you believe and to use various social pressures to make sure you have those opinions. They're not yours... they are socially imposed.

    For example, you have lots of opinions that you never came up with yourself and have never honestly considered. This is true of everyone. We are social creatures and mostly adopt the opinions of our society.

    Consider all the counter culture people that tell everyone they're against conforming. Notice now that they all dress like each other. Notice they all tend to use the same vocabulary. Notice that they all tend to have the same opinions about just about everything as each other. Notice that they in fact do conform if anything more rigidly then the masses only to a counter culture.

    This is the norm.

    what are you thoughts on cannibalism, marrying girls as young as eight years old, or slavery? All socially imposed taboos. My point is not that you should or shouldn't like these things but that it is something not considered acceptable for you to have a varying opinion on the matter. The society has said that Canadianism is wrong. PERIOD. It is not open for debate. Marrying people as young as eight is wrong. Period. Slavery is wrong. Period. We start drilling this into children at around two years old when children ask lots of questions. And we answer most of them. The children pay attention not only to the answers by to the way they are answered. A strong YES or NO is imprinted on their minds in ways a "maybe" or "that's up to you" are not.

    This sort of thing continues throughout our lives though of course at a certain point our personalities become more fixed and while we'll outwardly conform we'll remain internally more flexible.

    So, in that context do the chinese people have opinions?

    They have the opinions they're allowed to have which don't include questioning the power, divine right, or moral clarity of the state.

  • Re:I love it when (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Saturday March 31, 2012 @08:09AM (#39533347)

    I read the comments on this post wondering if someone would somehow turn China's behavior into some kind of commentary on the US, acting as if the things the US does are somehow even REMOTELY NEAR China on some imaginary moral scale.

    I got through all the comments, surprised that the discussion was squarely focused on China's utterly dismal record on human rights, dissent, freedom of information, internet censorship, etc...until yours.

    Actually, your post is more correct in its irony than you can ever know:

    Censoring the internet — let me guess: takedowns of sites devoted exclusively to piracy? Yeah, not anywhere NEAR the same as censoring the entire internet for thoughts and requiring real name registration on the internet.

    Dependence on fossil fuels — China's new vehicle sales will exceed the US by 2015. China's greenhouse emissions will exceed the US by 50% by 2015. They are expected to double ours by 2020. It will exceed our fossil fuel consumption somewhere in that same timeframe.

    Dysfunctional systems of government — "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Speech in the House of Commons, November 11, 1947

    Invading other nations — I'm sure the fact that China increased its military budget by 11% this year alone, will exceed the US in real military spending by 2025, development of an anti-carrier anti-ship ballistic missile, and its massive buildout of a blue water Navy are for "peaceful regional defense".

    But if you really believe that this is the pot calling the kettle black, be happy in your little world of moral relativism, and I hope you get the world you wish for — you know, the one where you think the interests and ideals of China and the Communist Party system are somehow not any better or worse than that of the US and West, just "different".

  • Inside Jobs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MichaelBlaugh ( 2607775 ) on Saturday March 31, 2012 @08:18AM (#39533371)

    There is heavy unrest at the elite level China now, and the authorities are handling it in the typical full-retard fashion with which authority typically handles things in general.

    Two weeks ago, Bo Xilai was removed by Wen Jiabao. This conflict has been buzzing all over the news here, and it is profoundly important.

    Xilai was a classic Chinese Marxist (think "Cultural Revolution" posters) who was steering Chongqing towards a social democracy. His major contributions included deposing the mafia, which angered the businessmen, and offering low-income housing. Wen Jiabao, on the other hand, is very similar to Deng Xiaoping in that he espouses the newer vision of a "free-market" China, where invisible hands reign and free market is the best path to their prosperity.

    The Marxist side of China has been raging ever since, and much of these people have been put on a "terrorist watch list", so to speak.

    On the other hand, China still very much has an underground internet presence. You just haven't heard of it. As someone who is living here, I assure you, discourse is far from stifled.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"