Tag Archives: internet

Facebook ‘made China censorship tool’


Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg recently spent time with China’s leader Xi Jinping, as well as taking time to learn Mandarin. AP

Facebook worked on special software so it could potentially accommodate censorship demands in China, according to a report in the New York Times.

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Daniel Auerbach and Brett Clark: The Internet and Monopoly Capitalism

digital-disconnectRobert W. McChesney, Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet against Democracy (New York: New Press, 2013), 299 pages, $27.95, hardcover. Continue reading

China Tells Websites to Monitor Content 24/7 in Fresh Clampdown

Police check the ID cards of netizens at an Internet cafe in Shandong province

Police check the ID cards of netizens at an Internet cafe in Shandong province, July 31, 2013. ImagineChina

China’s powerful internet regulator has further ratcheted up controls on what the country’s 700 million netizens can see online, requiring round-the-clock monitoring of all live-streaming and holding editorial chiefs personally responsible for “problem” content.

New rules issued by the powerful internet regulation agency, the Cyberspace Administration, require editors-in-chief to monitor their sites’ ouput 24 hours a day to ensure “correct orientation, factual accuracy and appropriate sourcing.”

The new rules follow a number of embarrassing gaffes surrounding the reporting of President Xi Jinping, who recently called on the country’s media to remember its loyalty to the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Last month, major internet portal Tencent fired its top editor after an apparent typo said Xi had delivered a “furious,” rather than an “important” speech on the anniversary of the party’s founding on July 1.

Authorities also detained a number of writers and editors at online news portal Wujie after a mysterious and anonymous call for Xi’s resignation was posted to its website in March.

And in February, the Shenzhen edition of the Southern Metropolis Daily published a front page containing an apparently inadvertent acrostic that read: “If the media belongs to the party, its ashes will be scattered at sea.”

China has already moved to ban the country’s internet portals like Tencent and Sina from conducting any independent journalism of their own, requiring them to post syndicated content from the state-run Xinhua news agency and state broadcaster CCTV instead.

Now, the agency is warning websites to avoid clickbait, and to act with “responsibility and restraint” when publishing content online, Xinhua news agency reported.

Tightened controls

Wang Yanjun, deputy editor of the reform-minded political journal Yanhuang Chunqiu, said the move will further tighten controls on online content, which is already limited by a system of blocks, filters, and human censorship known as the Great Firewall.

“They are saying that they won’t pursue the reporter, but rather the editor-in-chief, if there’s a problem somewhere with the content,” Wang said.

“That means that editors are going to be a lot more careful from now on when giving instructions to reporters.”

He said the aim of the new rules is to step up control of public opinion.

“No dissenting opinions are allowed, and when dissenting voices are no longer heard, they will think they have achieved their aim,” Wang said.

“But actually that’s a very naive approach; it’s much harder than that. How do you control what people actually think?”

One of the activities targeted in the new guidelines, which came out of a recent internet management summit, is live-streaming, which must now be monitored around the clock.

Live streaming is hugely popular in China, particularly among younger people, who can amass huge followings to their individual channel.

Stability maintenance

Hebei-based veteran journalist Zhu Xinxin said the additional pressure on individual website editors is a sign that the authorities are unable to effectively monitor online content any more by themselves.

He said the move takes the country further away from the rule of law.

“This is management of information by political ideas, not by law,” Zhu said. “That’s why they keep producing an endless stream of directives and guidelines.”

And online activist Li Fei said the measures form part of the nationwide domestic security apparatus known as “stability maintenance.”

“These measures are clearly an attempt to deepen stability maintenance … but the country is getting less and less stable,” Li said.

“They don’t want to see any negative comments appearing online for the whole world to see, especially ahead of the G20 summit [in Hangzhou in early September],” he said.

Jiangsu-based netizen Shen Aibin agreed.

“Everything we read, hear, and watch online is controlled by them … so that means there isn’t really anything real online at all any more,” Shen said.

“We are being forcibly brainwashed by them, and any factual content that has to do with social justice gets deleted,” he said.

Reported by Yang Fan for RFA’s Mandarin Service, and by Wong Lok-to for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

Source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/monitor-08192016104723.html

China’s Ruling Party Continues to Tighten Grip on Internet Content

Screenshots of China's WeChat app and logo on a desktop computer and smartphone

Screenshots of China’s WeChat app and logo on a desktop computer and smartphone, June 1, 2016. RFA

The ruling Chinese Communist Party is continuing to tighten controls over what the country’s 700 million internet users see and post online, issuing reporting forms to its officials who are expected to list content that could be seen as problematic by censors. Continue reading

China Increases Scrutiny of Internet, Tech Companies


Computer users sit near a monitor display with a message from the Chinese police on the proper use of the Internet at an Internet cafe in Beijing, China.

The Chinese government has proposed taking part ownership of the country’s biggest Internet companies, and is subjecting American technology companies to mandatory reviews.Both moves are raising fears the government is attempting to exert even more control over web and tech firms in China. Continue reading

China internet: Ren Zhiqiang’s account blocked after Xi criticism

Ren Zhiqiang3

Ren Zhiqiang has more than 30m followers

China has shut down the microblogging accounts of outspoken former property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang after he criticised President Ren Zhiqiang. Continue reading

China’s President Calls For More Borders, State Control in Cyberspace


Xi Jinping gives a speech at the Internet conference in Wuzhen, China, Dec. 16, 2015. AFP

Chinese Internet users on Wednesday hit out at a “global” Internet conference hosted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, as their president Xi Jinping called for more control by governments over cyberspace. Continue reading

CDT eBook: Decoding the Chinese Internet

September 15, 2014 9:42 AM

Posted By: Anne Henochowicz


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