|A Communist Chinese Internet Crackdown.|
Big Government internet controls and censorship - coming soon to a nation near you! But don't worry. It's for your own good you know.
Chinese Blogger: “I’m not afraid of jail. I’m afraid of torture.”
- The Chinese government is frightened to death of the internet and the freedom of information revolution that it brings to the world.
- The U.S. and other Western nations should encourage China to adopt more internet freedom, but we are busy ourselves adopting anti-freedom internet controls.
Internet censorship. A Communist dictatorship in action.
China has more than 500 million Internet users, according to the government’s China Internet Network Information Center. There are also some 250 million users of the Twitter-like microblogging sites known collectively as weibo.
The most popular of the microblogging sites, Sina Weibo, reported that in Chinese New Year, the number of tweets hit a new record, with 32,312 messages sent per second reports the Washington Post.
Microblogs exploded here because of the ability to convey a lot of information in a quick burst. Like with Twitter, there’s a 140-character limit. But in Chinese, where each character is a separate word, 140 characters is enough for a lengthy discourse.
The microblogs have forced the government to become more attuned to public opinion, and has obliterated the Communist Party’s traditional control over the flow of information. More and more young Netizens say they get their news from weibo than from state-controlled television broadcasts or print newspapers towing the Party line.
“Microblogging is a starting point of calling on the government to be more accountable,” said Hu Yong, a professor at Peking University’s journalism school.
These blogger-activists are far from revolutionary. Like the incoming leaders , many of them are children of Communist Party officials. They are patriots who love China, but want its institutions to work better and on behalf of the people. They take on corrupt corporations as much as the government. They are just as concerned about kidnapped children and AIDS victims as voting rights and free elections.
The best known among them, like scholar Yu Jianrong, whose microblog tries to connect begging street children with their parents, have more than a million followers. And they must contend with ever-changing censorship rules. Many of the most popular microbloggers have had their accounts temporarily suspended or shut down entirely, after the government launched a crackdown this year on Internet “rumors,” following aggressive reporting on the case of ousted Politburo member Bo Xilai.
They also risk death threats and harassment to raise civic awareness, bring powerful people to book and give a voice to the voiceless.
“If I speak in a high-profile way, it’s because I love this country,” said Wang Xiaoshan, 45, a well-known journalist and active microblogger who has led a boycott campaign against a large dairy company called Mengniu, at the center of several recent food safety scandals.
Wang said he worries about his safety, and he recently spent a week in Hong Kong and three days in Macau because he said he was informed of a credible threat to silence him. His biggest fear, he said, was being arrested and sent to Inner Mongolia, where the company he is challenging is located. “I know how this country works,” he said. “I’m not afraid of jail. I’m afraid of torture.”
But he returned to China and to his writing. “I’ve always wanted to be a hero, ever since I was a child,” he said. “I think I’m a hero now.” (Washington Post)
|Chinese staff working at a Texas barbecue restaurant celebrate America's Independence Day in downtown Beijing.|
|Sorry, some businesses do not translated well.|
Chinese Hooters waitresses in Beijing.