The ‘Blog’ Revolution Sweeps Across China

When the Chinese government encouraged the establishment of
Internet cafes, it hoped to ‘Westernize’ its work force and become
more economically competitive. What it got, however, was
‘Westernization’ of a very different kind — the people of China
suddenly had access to a tide of information so overwhelming that
censors simply couldn’t keep up with it. Though the Chinese
government has continually modified its surveillance apparatus to
censor and sanitize Internet use, establishing a ‘Great Firewall’
that selectively filters incoming and outgoing content, widely
available blog software is rendering such efforts futile. New blogs
are being created faster than they are being shut down: China
currently has a half-million bloggers, and the number is steadily
increasing. With their prodigious size and decentralized nature,
Chinese blogging networks can rapidly disseminate dissenting voices
and reproduce banned news. They have also developed a rapidly
changing lexicon of euphemisms for terms like ‘dictatorship’ and
‘truth’ that are scanned for by censors, and they provide a crucial
outlet for subcultures that fall outside of traditional social and
moral norms. The fight against censorship in China is an endless
game of cat and mouse, but as free blogging tools pervade Chinese
Internet culture, the cats are finding themselves hopelessly
outgunned.
Brendan Themes

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‘Blog’ Revolution Sweeps Across China

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