Censorship Perception

I read Don’t Call China’s Internet “Censored”, at Good Magazine.  It’s rather brief and biased, which is usual from a Western media source that judges China from a Western cultural perspective.

However, what I found interesting were two comments to the post.

Shaun Pen’s comment was, “Chinese people in China don’t consider it censorship, much the same way we Americans don’t consider anti-child pornography laws “censorship.”

Nathan Heath says, “But Shaun is also missing a few things.  The average Chinese internet user uses the internet completely differently than Americans do.  In fact, I honestly think it would take a long time for Chinese internet usage to change in China even if the “Great Firewall” were lifted tomorrow.  The vast population just doesn’t care. (Except Facebook. We want FB back.) THAT is the cultural difference between China and the West.”

Then there is The Economist, which had opinion pieces about China’s censorship in two recent issues.

The Oct. 23 issue had Gagging to be free, which claimed if Marx lived in China today he wouldn’t have been able to publish the Communist Manifesto

Not true.

There is a thriving underground in China that translates and publishes censored books into Mandarin, and I’ve often found books in Beijing and Shanghai’s English language bookstores that are on China’s censorship list. If the books are in English, China doesn’t seem to care.

Considering that learning English is mandatory in China’s public schools, why bother to censor anything. If there is money to be made, there are Chinese that will figure a way to earn it.

The Oct. 30 issue of The Economist had another go at China’s Net Nanny with Breaching the great firewall. The complaint here focuses on Twitter being blocked and replaced with a popular copy-cat called weibo, which is heavily monitored for “subversive” content.

When you discover what the West is doing to monitor subversive content on the Internet, you’ll see the hypocrisy.

Wired says, “In the US, American spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.” 

In fact, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community is putting cash into software that specializes in monitoring social media.

If these agencies are developing and buying this software, you can be sure they are using it.

In addition, if most Chinese don’t consider the Net Nanny censorship, then it isn’t. There is software available in the US so parents may censor and monitor their children’s’ activity on the Internet. That’s how most Chinese see the so called “Great Firewall”.

Those in the West who complain the most are probably the same people who want to influence and subvert Chinese thought until the globe is filled with Western clones.

Discover why Internet Censorship May be Going Global


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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