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Censorship Government The Internet Politics

85% of Chinese Citizens Like Internet Censorship 609

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-nevermind-then dept.
cynagh0st writes "A Pew Internet & American Life Project report indicates that of an overwhelming majority of Chinese people that believed the Internet should be 'managed or controlled,' 85% want the government to do this managing. This is resulting from surveys on Internet use over the last seven years in China. 'The survey findings discussed here, drawn from a broad-based sample of urban Chinese Internet users and non-users alike, indicate a degree of comfort and even approval of the notion that the government authorities should control and manage the content available on the Internet.' The report goes further into describing the divide in perspective between China and Western Nations on the matter and discusses the PRC's justifications for Internet control."
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85% of Chinese Citizens Like Internet Censorship

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  • the other 15% (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prgrmr (568806) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:42AM (#23403898) Journal
    are in jail
    • Re:the other 15% (Score:5, Insightful)

      by snl2587 (1177409) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:51AM (#23404074)

      85% of Chinese Likes Censorship

      That's not what they were asked because the Chinese government did not approve of the question. They were asked if they approved of government control. The two are very different, especially in a socialist state where the government controls everything.

      • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gnick (1211984)
        Crest reports that 4 out of 5 dentists agree...
      • by Tavor (845700) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:13PM (#23404552)
        Unless the Chinese asked were older than 65, they are unlikely to even know what it's like without government "control". It's akin to asking a wild mustang if he likes horseshoes.
        • by electrictroy (912290) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:17PM (#23404634)
          In a similar vein, 70% of American think the first amendment (right to free speech and worship) should be scrapped.

          (shrug)

          The Founders always said that "democracy is are worst disease", the masses were not competant enough to run the government, and therefore we should have a Republic run by educated men. i.e. People with enough common sense to realize scrapping the first amendment is a bad idea.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            therefore we should have a Republic run by educated men
            i.e. people who know the difference between are and our? Oh the delicious irony!
          • by Pinckney (1098477) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:07PM (#23405584)

            In a similar vein, 70% of American think the first amendment (right to free speech and worship) should be scrapped.

            Do you mind sourcing that? The closest I'm able to find is that "74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others." Source [firstamendmentcenter.org] I've no doubt that many people have very different views than me on what the first amendment guarantees, but I honestly doubt your figure, particularly considering the other data on the same site.

            On the subject of the article, I must say that I'm rather skeptical. It's possible that Chinese citizens really do appreciate censorship by such an overwhelming majority, but I am reminded of this article [npr.org], particularly the line "Having lived in a society where millions were arrested for speaking inadvertently to informers, many older people are extremely wary of talking to researchers wielding microphones (devices associated with the KGB)." This was last December, mind you, more than a decade after the fall of the USSR.

            • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:52PM (#23406548)
              Do you mind sourcing that? The closest I'm able to find is that "74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others." Source I've no doubt that many people have very different views than me on what the first amendment guarantees, but I honestly doubt your figure, particularly considering the other data on the same site.

              Yep, there's a big difference between disagreeing with the First Amendment, and believing certain clothes shouldn't be allowed in public schools attended by minors. If you want to wear an offensive t-shirt, you can do it all you want at home, or walking on public streets or public parks etc. Public schools aren't free-speech zones. The attendees are minors, and don't have the same rights and privileges as adults. They can't decide not to go to class, or to sit outside class with signs and protest. If they don't have the right to even decide if they want to go or not, they certainly don't have any inherent rights to wear offensive t-shirts, or say offensive things (such as in the middle of class when the teacher is talking). Even public university students don't have that right.
              • by kthejoker (931838) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:35PM (#23407322)
                First off, yes, American children as American citizens do have the exact same First Amendment rights as adults. Period. Truly offensive shirts (ie hate speech) are not protected by the First Amendment. "Content-free" offensive shirts ("EAT SHIT", "MOTHERFUCKER", etc.) are also not protected. Not going to class is not a First Amendment right. Your straw man and your incorrect interpretation of the First Amendment are damaging and should be called out as such. By the way: not through censoring, but through accountability.
                • by manifoldronin (827401) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @03:02PM (#23407790)

                  Truly offensive shirts (ie hate speech) are not protected by the First Amendment.
                  Is advocating for women's right to choices "truly offensive"? How about burning the American flag? How "truly" an offensive would have to be to lose the protection from the 1st Amendment?
              • by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@gmGAUSSail.com minus math_god> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:35PM (#23407328)
                There is no such thing as a "free-speech zone". Public schools are not free-speech zones, but neither are libraries, or the steps outside the Capitol building in the District of Columbia. If you're on government controlled property, you are free to say whatever the fuck you want, and nobody else has any authority to make you stop. They can bitch about it until they're blue in the face, much like I can say whatever I wish, but they can't stop me from offending them anymore than I can stop them from offending me for attempt to suppress my rights.

                Since only Congress may pass laws which have any influence, and since Congress is forbidden to stifle free speech according to the First Amendment, the government has no authority in limiting what a person says. Just remember the old adage "actions speak louder than words" and you'll realize that stifling free speech is only a method of controlling how a person thinks. I think the idea of murder is quite undesirable, but I should be free to talk about the mass slaughter of lawyers all I want.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Moofie (22272)
                I've read the Constitution cover to cover, and I didn't encounter the notion of a "free speech zone" even ONCE.

                I think your copy is broken.
        • by Lucid_Loki (1250576) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:57PM (#23405400)
          Somehow I still don't think those over 65 would know what the internet without government control would be like... I mean I know they had paper and gunpowder before Europe but TCP/IP protocol in immediate post world war two China? They're so entrepreneurial.

          And like it or not the government exercises control over the internet in OECD countries as well. It just happens that most EU states are more progressive than the Chinese or the US and thus users there enjoy greater freedoms.

          If you asked most people living in the OECD whether their society should tolerate kiddy porn on the 'net then I reckon at least 85% would say that the government should have some control to step in.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cbreaker (561297)
            Wait, what freedoms on the Internet don't I get here in the US? (you know, since we're not as "progressive" as Britain with your queen?)
        • by badasscat (563442) <basscadet75.yahoo@com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:22PM (#23407092)
          Unless the Chinese asked were older than 65, they are unlikely to even know what it's like without government "control". It's akin to asking a wild mustang if he likes horseshoes.

          On the other hand, if that wild mustang gets all the food it can eat, has owners that groom it regularly and let it have free run of the ranch, then why should it want a life without horseshoes?

          Westerners, and especially Americans, seem to have a really difficult time understanding other cultures, and specifically cultures where authority is still trusted to do the right thing. You saw in the news just over the past few weeks how shocked we seem to have been by the fact that Chinese citizens actually came out to protest in favor of their government on the issue of Tibet as it relates to the Olympic torch relay - the tone of the news reports was "what's wrong with these people?" Well, there's nothing wrong with them. Under their present government, the vast majority of Chinese live in peace, their economy is growing at 8-10% per year, they're about to host the most prestigious sporting event in the world, etc. etc. Beyond those abstracts, personal wealth is at levels never before seen in China.

          Why shouldn't they trust the government? The government seems to have done pretty well for them - unlike our "democratically elected" government that can barely manage 1-2% growth, gets us involved in unnecessary foreign wars and has presided over a doubling of gas prices and foreclosures in the last year. Given warrantless wiretapping, detention without trial of "enemy combatants", the movement towards prison sentences (even life sentences) for copyright violations, not to mention the Patriot Act, I would argue that we really don't have a hell of a lot more freedom than they do either. Yeah, so they've got an internet firewall. But my bet is they don't have stormtroopers knocking down their doors if they say the words "ammonium nitrate" over the phone and it gets flagged as a keyword in some NSA remote listening database.

          Which side is more "brainwashed"?

          We've simply learned to distrust government based on how non-functional and even harmful our own is. Well, theirs (like most of the world's) actually works pretty well for the vast majority of the country, so they've learned the opposite lesson.
          • by jeffmeden (135043) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:35PM (#23407330) Homepage Journal
            Tell that to Tibet... or this guy [wikimedia.org]... Yes, a lot of China is prospering, but not all of it, and it's doing so at an incredible price. For one, the ecological impact of their "awesome 10% growth" is absolutely mind boggling to any western nation. Yes, China has it's good points and bad points, just like the US, the EU, etc. The one thing the "popular" nations have going for them is they freely let the people speak out in protest. This does not happen in China, there is widespread retribution on anyone who dissents, and no matter how you spin it this is a bad thing since if the government were to become untrustworthy (assuming it is even trustworthy now,) they would have no way of knowing. At least in an 'open' nation the cards are on the table and the people are free to hate on the poor leadership skills of their government; illegal detentions, poorly written and poorly enforced laws, and economic disparity aside.
          • by cbreaker (561297) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @02:56PM (#23407722) Journal
            Are you fucking kidding me?

            Do you know how many civil rights violations that happen in China every day? Do you know how many people have been forced out of their homes because the government wanted a new office complex? Do you know how many people are shuttled away to prison (or to their deaths) for saying the wrong thing in public, or for a petty crime?

            The Chinese can trust their government to do one thing: Fuck it's citizens.

            Huge populations of Chinese live in poverty. No chance for reparation either - because they don't vote, they have no say in their government..

            Don't even say "works for the vast majority" of the Chinese. It fucking doesn't. Just because a few protesters were out there doesn't mean the Chinese love their system.

            The problem is, too many of them know no different, and the Government makes sure it stays that way.

            Just because something is different doesn't mean I have to accept it. "Western" governments are BETTER, and I have no problem saying that.
        • by steelfood (895457) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @04:21PM (#23409082)
          Wrong.

          China has always been a dictatorship. Even the so-called "nationalist government" was little better than a congregation of power-grubbing warlords. Democracy in Taiwan only works because it's so small. And that's where things are different from the US. Chinese prefer one ruler over multiple regional warlords. Because if history is any indication, multiple rulers means war and strife. And that has happened so many times in the past that the peaceful periods in between the wars are more than welcome. Democracy brings about instability. It is, by its very nature, unstable. It is undesirable, and the reason why the populace fled to the communists in the 30's and 40's. Communism promised stability.

          Besides, democracy doesn't exist in Chinese thought. Confucian values dominate, and Confucious was very strict on following the hierarchy of the faily (grandparents, parents, older siblings, self, younger siblings, children, grandchildren, etc.). This comes from the still-living tradition of ancestral worship, and makes absolute sense in that framework. Democracy has no place in this ideology.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Eskarel (565631)
            The population fled to the Communists because the alternative was worse. Taiwan might be democratic now, but the folks who founded it were fascists who by all the evidence I read used to let their people get slaughtered by the Japanese during the way so they could save their bullets to shoot the communists.

            Communism in China has gone a great deal off course in the last 60 years, and has a lot to answer for, but from all I've read(some of which was published accounts of CIA operatives in China at the time),

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by dnwq (910646)
        No, no.

        The first question was whether they thought content should be controlled at all. This had a majority yes.

        The second question was if content was controlled, who should carry out the control - the ISP? Parents? the government? And 85% picked the government. Note that the options were not mutually exclusive - 50% picked parents, for example.

        At no point were they asked whether they approved of government control in general.
      • Re:the other 15% (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:41PM (#23405116) Homepage Journal

        They were asked if they approved of government control.
        The summary says they were asked if they liked control, and if they did, if they preferred it were done by the government.

        That is kinda like asking Americans if they think terrorism should be fought, and if so should it be done by the US DoD.
        It's a loaded question designed to get a specific answer from a select group.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Kierthos (225954)
        Come on, it amounts to the same thing.

        "Hi, I'm a shadowy figure, God knows who I really work for, but probably that government that controls nearly every aspect of your life, and I'm conducting a poll. Would you be in favor of continued government control of a method of communication that would be restricted to deliberately limit your view of the outside world, or should we just haul you away to a prison right now as a subversive?"
    • 85% thought the government was conducting the poll.

      If you live in a totalitarian dictatorship and your phone rings and someone says, "I'm conducting a poll for the blah blah blah organization that you've never hear of before, do you think our glorious leader is a really great guy or do you want needles under your fingernails?" How do you answer?

      In a place where people legitimately fear speaking the truth, all polls are biased.
    • Re:the other 15% (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chemisor (97276) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:23PM (#23405898)
      > are in jail

      Hardly. China has 1.5 million [homeoffice.gov.uk] people in jail, only 0.1% of the population. The United States, by comparison, has 2.3 million [washingtonpost.com] people in jail, or 0.8% of the population. That's about eight times more, so let's not have the pot calling the kettle black.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        One might, of course, ask whether or not the statistics the chinese government gives out about their prison population are likely to be accurate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by superyooser (100462)
        Maybe they have fewer people in jail because they've already executed them. Much more efficient and economical that way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tom (822)
      Everyone someone makes jokes about China and jails, I feel this urge to point out that the USA actually has a higher percentage of its population in jail than any other country in the world, including China.

      Also, very likely no other country has such a race-biased jail population.

      I sincerely hope you're not american, otherwise that was the dumbest comment you ever made on /.
  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:42AM (#23403910)
    Something like... "The chinese national news reports tonight that 85% of chinese citizens like censorship".

  • Look! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by callocx (1223778) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:43AM (#23403916)
    Look, a censored survey!
  • Real News (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:43AM (#23403926)
    85% Chinese is afraid of the government.
    • Re:Real News (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:04PM (#23404356)
      It's not that simple. There are a fair amount of Chinese - both inside China and outside of China - who do not share my belief in the necessity of free speech. That's part of the reason why the Chinese government is still in place: according to a good chunk of the population, it's doing a good job. There are significant philosophical differences between China and the West (as nebulous a region as that is). This is one of them. Belittling them, dismissing them or otherwise ignoring them will not help in dealing with them. One of the biggest strength of the Chinese government right now is that it can leverage a massive and widespread feeling in the population that the West is treating China unfairly and more like a stupid dog than an equal nation. Then again, another useful item to keep in mind is that 0.1% of the population amounts to 1 million people. In other words, Chinese crackpots are about as big a group as certain European nations.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nostriluu (138310)
        here's some more insight on that point of view:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/world/asia/14response.html?pagewanted=2&_r=2&hp [nytimes.com]

        Chinese Web sites remain heavily censored, and a brief flirtation with openness and responsiveness does not mean that China is headed toward Western-style democracy. On the contrary, if China manages to handle a big natural disaster better than the United States handled Hurricane Katrina, the achievement may underscore Beijingâ(TM)s contention that its largely nonideo

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MoonBuggy (611105)
        I was thinking about this, and I'm not sure that it is a cultural difference between the Chinese and the 'West'. I know that's how many people (a lot of them pro-government Chinese, from what I've seen) are presenting it, but I think they may be mistaken.

        Think of some of the things that the British or American governments do and say with more or less full support of their populations. There are plenty willing to argue that the government is doing 'x, y or z' in our best interests despite the fact that histo
      • Re:Real News (Score:5, Informative)

        by kriyasurfer (1190407) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:38PM (#23405056)
        I was born in Taiwan, though I was raised in America. I got to see the Chinese and American cultures up close.

        Every culture and language has "lean" words, words that have special significance and emotionally potent. In America, those words include, "freedom", "liberty", "justice", "dream", and "oppression". Here, people have great fear of "oppression", and words and concepts like that.

        In the Chinese culture, the individual's greatest fear isn't "oppression". It is "luan", or "anarchy", "disorder". The Chinese people in general will tolerate a great deal of "oppression" so long as the government is doing its job: keeping the nation from running into chaos. "Human rights" in China doesn't include the right to be free; instead, it includes the right to be live a peaceful life.

        -Q

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:43AM (#23403932)
    are made up.
  • Survey of internet usage in heavily monitored society by outsider says all those inside "like" being monitored.

    More at 11...
  • Accurate? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MiKM (752717) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:44AM (#23403942)
    If I were living in China, I'd be wary (and probably afraid) of speaking out against gov't censorship and control of the Internet.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:57AM (#23404196) Homepage Journal
      it also is the question your asked and who asks it.

      Take voting in the DNC primary, by all accounts and polls one candidate should be getting even more votes than they are getting yet once behind the privacy of the voting booth they don't get them.

      Some questions make people uncomfortable whether their freedom is in jeopardy or not. It is also instinctive in some people to give the answer that they believe the questioner wants regardless if its a true one.

      While I do agree China is a special case I have seen friends answer complete strangers in what I knew wasn't what they believed but instead what they wanted the questioner to believe.
  • I'm sure (Score:5, Funny)

    by NiZm0 (108526) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:44AM (#23403950)
    *Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Statistics.
    *Ministry of Statistics Motto:We're here to make sure you're happy about your statistics.

  • Shocking~ (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:44AM (#23403954) Homepage Journal
    You mean people that spend all their life being managed and controlled want the internet to be managed and controlled?

    I'm shocked I tells ya, shocked~
    • Re:Shocking~ (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WindowlessView (703773) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:09PM (#23404458)

      You mean people that spend all their life being managed and controlled want the internet to be managed and controlled?

      This is one manifestation of a larger question: how realistic is it to assume that a society that is quickly growing richer wants to rock the boat that has raised their living conditions? It always seemed naive to assume that a richer China would necessarily demand more freedoms. When you consider the effort and sacrifices required to overcome the odds in securing a middle class lifestyle in China today it seems preposterous to assume that these very same people are somehow going to form the vanguard demanding change. Most of these people aren't going to give up their comfortable high rises or prized automobiles for anything or anyone. This may change in time but that time is a long ways away.

  • Skewed results (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:45AM (#23403958) Homepage
    How did they perform this survey? I would have a feeling that the majority of people in China are in three or more similar categories:

    1. Afraid to answer anything "anonymously" as they know better.

    2. Afraid to answer anything other than what they think the State wants them to say (see #1).

    3. Are so ingrained in the sheep mentality that they just don't know any better.

    4. Are just like Americans and don't really care but don't lie about it.
  • Riiiiiiiiiight.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by swb311 (1165753)
    I wonder how many no votes were censored.

    For the common good.
  • by thatseattleguy (897282) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:46AM (#23403990) Homepage
    ...or another ostensible democracy, and asked the same question, I wonder what percentage would say "yes" here as well?

    I think it might me much higher than most Slashdotters would believe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MoonBuggy (611105)
      Unfortunately your probably right, although with the caveat that it is very dependent on how the question is phrased.
      • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:01PM (#23404278)
        Question 1. Do you believe that there should be a way for Law Enforcement officials to identify those on the internet who engage in illegal activities, for the sake of protecting the naive or easily prayed upon?

        Question 2. Do you want us to have the power to know what you buy online, what your daughter looks like in a bikini, and read the email you sent to your working-away-from-home husband (Paul) with that photo of you(?) in the black and scarlet red corset (and not much else)?

        If you answered differently to both of those questions, your opinion is not valid for this survey.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NemosomeN (670035)
        Do you think the government should step in to censor internet traffic in order to prevent the dissemination of dangerous materials? (For example, child pornography, terrorism-related communication, etc.)

        Do you think the government should step in to censor internet traffic in order to prevent the dissemination of dangerous materials? (For example, political dissent, unsanctioned scientific theories, etc.)

        Even the same question, if you put someone in the mood to say yes or no, could yield wildly differe
    • by stoofa (524247) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:58AM (#23404230)
      The response from most in the UK would be "What can I win if I take part?"

      As for the current government judging if people like the amount of control in their lives, they don't need to do any surveys. They just look at all the CCTV cameras and say "Well, most people are smiling so we can assume they like what we're doing."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437)
      You have a point there. Very recently I was talking with a bunch of coworkers, and one mentioned something about a new easy way to open door locks or something (it was a device kinda like a skeleton key - can't remember the specifics). When he mentioned that the instructions on how to build this were "right there on the internet!" one of them mentioned that "They're going to have to start cracking down on that." (referring to letting people post "harmful" information online). When I responded with my nor
  • by reality-bytes (119275) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:47AM (#23403996) Homepage
    So when the central government sanctioned and vetted Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comes round to ask if you like the government to censor your communications....

    ...how do you reply?

    Don't get the answer wrong now will you.
  • by athloi (1075845) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:47AM (#23404004) Homepage Journal
    I think we all like some censorship. I would like to avoid ever hearing about or seeing child porn and would not like my children to have access to easy recipes for explosives and drugs. (Access to scientific materials is legitimate and should be encouraged, and if they can find out how to make explosives and drugs from that, it's probably not a bad thing.)
    • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:58AM (#23404226) Journal
      And the question we all have to ask is whether we believe that anybody can be trusted to say that they know best when it comes to what is and isn't allowable for us to access. I believe that even if we did come up with a theoretical list of content that we all found abhorrent and agreed should be blocked, it would still be a mistake to do so because at that moment we would be placing the infrastructure for anybody in power to take it further, 'for our own good'. Nobody can be trusted with that power, especially because it is exactly the power needed to cover up ones own abuses.
  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:48AM (#23404028) Journal
    When people are raised in a certain way, they think a certain way. Often, children in abusive households become abusive themselves...

    so... what about children raised in a red china communism 'I love the government' household? ...

    To add to that problem, how can 85% of chinese vote for an option they've never experienced - if they are living 'well' enough, by their standards, and don't know differently, then why would they change?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)

      When people are raised in a certain way, they think a certain way. Often, children in abusive households become abusive themselves...

      You got any evidence for that claim? I know a couple of people who were beaten and abused in every way except the sexual one (and a few who were even in that), and none of them have become abusive. I've not read a single study that claims a strong correlation. There are correlations to other things such as depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders and lots and lots of other stuff, but from all I know, abused children are not any more or less likely to be abusive parents then everyone else.

  • Hmm, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kabocox (199019) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:49AM (#23404038)
    I'd go as far to say that 99.99% of humanity thinks that censorship is a good thing as long as they get to pick what is censored from the rest.

    Everyone wants the government to be their censorship tool. The government will happily censor stuff. It's just various groups want different things censored and want to be allowed to view their chosen content.
  • by JesseL (107722) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:50AM (#23404048) Homepage Journal
    it's not enough to justify the infringement of a human right.

    There is no majority large enough that stripping even one person of their rights against their will is justified.
  • Most people are obey authorities they perceive to be legitimate.
  • Issues. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:52AM (#23404100)
    In a repressive government people will public speak party lines, most of them say it so much they start to beleave it. So the stats are not that unbeleavable. But I am sure if you can find a non-repressive government I bet you will still find a good number of people pro-censorship. Just as long as it is blocking information they don't want to hear.
    Even on Liberal anti-censorship slashdot. Oposing view points are often quickly modded down just because people don't want agree with it or beleave it to be true. While it is not censorship in true sience of the word, it is a way for the moderators to say Hey I don't want people reading this, and if they do I don't want them to think it is a valad argument.

    People are humans and humans feel threntoned by different ideas then their own, it doesn't matter if you have just a GED or a PHD you will feel threantoned by different ideas. When people feel threntoned they will try to move to higher powers to prevent the threat.
    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:13PM (#23404562)

      Oposing view points are often quickly modded down just because people don't want agree with it or beleave it to be true. While it is not censorship in true sience of the word, it is a way for the moderators to say Hey I don't want people reading this, and if they do I don't want them to think it is a valad argument.

      Oh please. Stop this. Seriously. This gets regularly trotted out by people who have no concept of what censorship actually is. Do you know who actually does the "censoring" in Slashdot? You do. You, by setting your preferences to filter out comments under a certain threshold, you remove someone's ability to be read. As a result, you're the censor on slashdot. Not CowboyNeal, not the moderators, but you - and you alone. So stop blaming others for your actions.

      Not to mention that telling others that an opinion is worthless is not the same as censoring. Sometimes, I wish people would spend some time in a country that actually does censor speech, so that they understand the difference. Censoring speech: someone breaks your fingers or throws you in the slammer for propagating illegal/unwanted opinions. Moderating: a mark that tells others "Warning - stupid person talking."

      Normally, confusing the two is a sign that the person is 13 and hasn't gotten to political science in high school yet, but that'd make your UID too low. I can only assume you're just confused.

      I also have no idea how you managed to misspell "threatened" like that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tom (822)
        There are two kinds of "censorship", if you allow to take the term a little losely.

        One is the government-forbids-publication kind. That's what we usually associate with the word. That's what the eastern european and russian communist countries tried.

        But the other kind is the drown-in-the-noise kind. That kind is very active in the west. Unpopular political decisions are regularily scheduled to be just prior to some big media event (superbowl or whatever) so that they get drowned out. Some of the most succes
  • by tool462 (677306) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:53AM (#23404114)
    If there was a poll among Americans asking if they felt that terrorism needed to be "managed or controlled" and if they wanted the government to do this managing, I bet the numbers would be similarly high. People aren't magically different across the globe. As long as the average individual isn't too badly off, they tend towards maintaining the status quo. In China this apparently gets translated to "I'm happy now. An influx of radical new ideas may upset this happiness. I'd rather things stay the way they are. The government needs to protect me from this." In the US this is "I'm happy now. An influx of radical terrorists may upset this happiness. I'd rather things stay the way they are. The government needs to protect me from this." You can substitute the fear du jour from almost any point in modern history with similar results.
  • by cozziewozzie (344246) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:57AM (#23404214)
    How many people in Europe and the US want the net to be censored?

    Including child pornography, illegal material, the anarchist cookbook, DeCSS, Nazi propaganda sites, etc?

    The level of censorship in China is obviously leaps and bounds beyond anything else in the world, and I'm not suggesting otherwise. but I think that people overestimate the meaning of free speech to the average citizen. As long as it doesn't bother them, most people don't have any problems whatsoever when extremists, deviants, weirdos, and the like are censored, as long as it doesn't directly concern them and the stuff they're interested.

    The majority of people in China are not interested in politics, both traditionally, and because it's been a bad idea to be involved in politics for the last 50 years. So if they don't read Dalai Lama's speeches, Japanese version of history, or Germany's take on political freedom in China, they don't particularly care, as they're not interested in it in the first place.

    Even here, people clap happily as the FBI and similar agencies in Europe freely read our emails, search our computers, confiscate hardware, all in the name of counter-terrorism. Make a Pew poll in Europe and let's see how many average people have a problem with this?

    The situation in China is obviously far worse, but instead of patting ourselves on the back and going on about evil Chinese and how much better we are, it would be wise to draw some parallels.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:58AM (#23404224) Homepage Journal

    Is the headline actually proper grammar someplace in the world? I know in the US it would be "85% of Chinese like Censorship". I know that in the UK you have this weird thing where you refer to a single corporation in the plural, but this is referring to a plural with the term for a singular...

  • by kyknos.org (643709) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @11:59AM (#23404242) Homepage
    I live in a post-communist country and I remember the communism very well. Most people in the Czech Republic, before the fall of communism, would probably answer "yes, we agree with the goverment" in any poll, regardless of the question, if they just weren't absolutely sure that the authorities wouldn't know their answer. Because free expression of opinion, in such a country, may mean anything from financial loss to death.
  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:02PM (#23404330)
    "85% of Chinese likes Censorship"

    What semi-literate posted that?

    Anyway, the summary is misleading as well as poorly drafted. If you read TFA, it's not a simple survey about "Censorship: good or bad?", it was about the perils of the Internet, and whether the government should protect users from porn, stalkers, malware, fraud. Put in those terms, you'd get similar answers anywhere. And of course, Chinese are not stupid. Those that DO have misgivings about government controls are exactly the people who suspect that every word they write is monitored.

  • Read the report. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:06PM (#23404382)
    Read the report. It isn't as black-and-white as the summary makes it out to be.

    The findings for one type of online content -- politics -- may seem more puzzling. Since 2005, the percentage of users who say that online content about "politics" should be controlled or managed jumped from 8% to 41%, by far the biggest increase of any items tested.

    Guo said that the explanation for this increase probably lies in the spate of widely publicized incidents of fraud, blackmail, sensationalism, and other abuse of Chinese citizens via the internet. The Chinese word used for "politics" in this survey, zhengzhi, is not confined simply to political rights or competition for political control but may be understood to include larger questions of public morality and social values.
    While I love bashing Communists, the report simply doesn't allow it. It appears to be more of a cultural, rather than political, difference.

    Pretty damn interesting, actually.
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:11PM (#23404492) Homepage Journal
    You know, its easy to paint everyone in China as a victim of internet persecution, but maybe the Chinese really do want a regulated and censored internet. I mean, think about it. China is a very conservative society. If the Chinese government really could block all porn, criminal sites, spyware sites, or even plain disruptive content, and everything like it, then, a lot of people who actually like where their country is headed wouldn't think too much of giving up the right to criticize their government in order to get their "safer" internet. I mean, if George Bush had won Iraq, and USA GDP was growing by 10% a year, real US wages were doubling, everyone was building like crazy, new skyscrapers were popping up everywhere, then, who would really be complaining?

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:16PM (#23404604)
    Like any survey, the results can be affected by the question that's asked.

    So: "do you beleive in free speech?" 99% of the respondents say yes (1% don't know)

    Or: "Should the internet be regulated, to protect your children?" .. now we're getting into interesting territory - I'd be willing to bet that most parents of 18 or less year-olds would say yes.

    How about: "Should the ISPs do more to reduce pornography on the internet?"

    Try this: "Is it reasonable for your employer to restrict your net surfing?"

    Finally: "Do you think the government should protect internet users from violent or inappropriate content?"

    Now tell me: which one of these questions defines censorship? The answer will depend on your individual outlook and where you live, whether you're responsible for other people. The final point about censorship is that no matter what your personal opinion of it is, you don't have the right to impose your view on others. Even if they're in favour of it and you think you know better.

  • Cultural Difference (Score:3, Informative)

    by foxalopex (522681) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @12:38PM (#23405060)
    Actually I believe this is entirely possible. I think folks are forgetting that the culture in China is quite different from the culture in the US. I should know, both my parents immigrated to Canada. At times I find it challenging to get along with them due to cultural difference and I myself feel like I'm wedged between both worlds at times. You only need to look at the history to understand it a little better. Most Chinese are use to a socially stable monarchy that's lasted for centuries if you look at China's history while in North America we're mostly all immigrants who gambled everything on freedom to survive. Most Chinese at least traditionally prefer a stable secure lifestyle even if it means giving up a few personal freedoms while I would think that in North America most of us would like to prefer the opposite. Both lifestyles come with their benefits and disadvantages. I've read the recent National Geographic articles that some parts of China are rapidly modernizing or westernizing however you may see it. It's sadly creating huge rifts between the generations because along with it comes cultural changes.
  • by sabernet (751826) on Wednesday May 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#23405498) Homepage
    I surfed the Chinese internet and media and found nothing that would make me believe this practice isn't perfection itself.

    The gov't also has these nice pamphlets handed out by the armed peace-protectors telling me so.

What this country needs is a good five dollar plasma weapon.

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