December 24, 2009

Has it come to this?

Social satirist and blogger hecaitou twittered:

In the past 10 years, the World Wide Web has provided countless news tips, writers, content and articles to the traditional media. Today, the World Wide Web is facing the coldest spells in ten years, teetering on the brink of obliteration. We earnestly request friends from paper media to speak out on behalf of the internet. If we go extinct, your days will be numbered too.

I had noticed SINA, among others, began requiring real-name registration, and any comments on the news report takes at least five minutes to clear moderation/censors.

I had noticed that CCTV recently published an article titled "Internet Triad in Control of Public Opinion: Five Million yuan Bribe Can Influence Court Decision (网络黑社会操控舆论:花五万元可左右法院判决)." In it, CCTV "exposed" a thriving industry "bent on" harming the Chinese businesses, the Chinese people, and indirectly the Chinese government. Given how the state-media operate, I knew this has to be either the harbinger of some new Net policy or paving the way for one.

At the websites I visits, there are many exasperatingly restrictive measures, and this is when my personal use just consists of personal entertainment and information gathering (I mean, I would understand being censored if I expressing anti-government sentiments).

But hecaitou's plea still came as a shock.

Many Netizens often jokingly say that the internet is the only venue where pi min (a derogatory term for people who expose any wrongdoing) can at least talk about the injustices without fear of swift retaliation. What happens when internet likewise becomes sanitized? I can't wait to see the formulaic 3-step reporting of "1. Chinese people are happy; 2. Chinese leaders are busy looking into the welfare of the Chinese people; 3. People everywhere else are living in hell" on the web too.

Related Post(s)
Comparison Between Chinese and Western Blogs
Inside the Great Firewall: Censorship 2009

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