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China Censors Web To Curb Inner Mongolia Protests 103

Posted by timothy
from the call-it-inmo-for-short dept.
angry tapir writes "China is blocking mention of Inner Mongolia on Chinese microblogs and social networking sites, as part of an effort to clamp down on protests that broke out last week in the region. Two of the most popular microblog services operating in China no longer allow users to search for the term 'Inner Mongolia.' Sina's and Tencent's microblogs have 140 million and 160 million users, respectively."
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China Censors Web To Curb Inner Mongolia Protests

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  • China and US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2011 @02:38AM (#36284736)

    At least the Chinese only censor the web (for national security) inside their own country. US on the other hand tries to censor it around the world for something little like downloading one mp3.

    • Re:China and US (Score:4, Insightful)

      by khallow (566160) on Monday May 30, 2011 @02:49AM (#36284804)
      There's a difference between "try" and "censor". I also like how the US censors for "something little" while China censors for "national security". There's always someone to equivocate the vile actions of China to the considerably less vile actions of the US.
      • Actually the actions of the US seem more vile in this light. China censors with the fear of a national uprise, something that might endanger the nation. The US censor already when the revenue of a rather insignificant company is threatened.

        Personally, I'd consider the latter worse. Censoring because you fear the nation is endangered (as real or imagined it may be, or as 'good' or 'bad' the government may be in the first place) is at least understandable. Censoring to protect the revenue stream of a company

        • China censors with the fear of a national uprise, something that might endanger the government.

          FTFY

          • Show me one government that doesn't put its own interests before those of the country and I'll only ask whether they have lax immigration laws.

            • If you think governments have an extreme tendency to put their own interests above that of the public should they really have the power to censor criticism of themselves?

            • by mjwx (966435)

              Show me one government that doesn't put its own interests before those of the country and I'll only ask whether they have lax immigration laws.

              I can only list places where governments don't bother you if you've got heaps of money.

              That list is nearly 137 entries long but it's a sliding scale as to how much money you need to reach the threshold.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Actually the actions of the US seem more vile in this light. China censors with the fear of a national uprise, something that might endanger the nation. The US censor already when the revenue of a rather insignificant company is threatened.

          Of course, it seems more vile to you. I just want to point out that protection of the revenue of a rather insignificant company in international trade is a more valid and legitimate national interest than oppressing the populace and ignoring their petitions for redress.

        • Actually the actions of the US seem more vile in this light. China censors with the fear of a national uprise, something that might endanger the nation. The US censor already when the revenue of a rather insignificant company is threatened. Personally, I'd consider the latter worse

          Then move there, and enjoy your reeducation-by-labor camps.

          I guess for some people any article is an excuse to lament how terrible life is in one of the richest and freest countries in the world. Had it occured to you how whiney and petty your complaints might sound to those in Inner Mongolia, or to Liu Xiaobo, or to any of the folks who tried to protest during the Olympics?

          • Oh, now I've been hit, by the ultimate argument. "Don't like what $country_A does? Move to $country_B where it's so much worse!"

            Are we so ingrained by two-party politics that we can only think in terms of the "lesser of two evils"? The idea that there is a way better than the lesser of two evils is so unthinkable that you cannot even imagine it?

            Yes, I find censorship in the name of some corporation worse than censorship in the name of the nation. But the idea that I'd actually want neither is completely unt

            • Oh, now I've been hit, by the ultimate argument. "Don't like what $country_A does? Move to $country_B where it's so much worse!"

              Im saying that if youre going to comment in an article on China about how much worse the US is, you should probably move out of the US. Im also remarking that I think you lack all perspective when you start claiming that speech in the US is worse off than in China because of copyright.

              If you want to have a serious discussion about how to fix the very real problems in the US, thats fine. Just dont go claiming that China has more free speech than the US, because thats absolutely not true.

        • by Lakitu (136170)

          How much more wrong could you be?

          Having the ability to censor anything with the only justification being "because the state says so" means the state deserves to continue existing only because it already does, regardless of what anyone thinks, or how they are living, and no matter how reprehensible the state's other actions are. This line of reasoning equates "saving lives by stopping a riot" or whatever with "fascist regime deserves to stay fascist", even in the most vile and reprehensible cases like the D

        • by smithmc (451373) *

          Actually the actions of the US seem more vile in this light. China censors with the fear of a national uprise, something that might endanger the nation. The US censor already when the revenue of a rather insignificant company is threatened.

          You say "already" as though you assume the US response would escalate further in the case of speech against the government. However, the US, unlike China, allows and tolerates dissent on the Internet, even against the government (and including allowing people to speak against its policies regarding things like copyright enforcement, BTW). We have a Constitutional amendment that guarantees this, which China most certainly does not. And, BTW, don't discount the importance of intellectual property and the r

      • Ignorance is a bliss. I take exception to stating that the USA only censors MP3 downloads or trivia. It costs a lot of money to censor trivia.
    • How is copyright remotely similar to censorship? If I want to download an mp3 from some american artist I can pay them. If you are in China, you can't just pay to have access to the info China censors.
      • by Artemis3 (85734)

        Simple: The vast majority of works while still in copyright, are out of print. You can't pay to get it, period. Also, it is difficult if not impossible in some countries to buy foreign things, because you can't obtain US$, much less in electronic form; and the importing can be limited or even blocked/forbidden (think of countries in USA's black list for example).

        • So? The right to be entertained as you wish is not remotely similar to the right to express yourself. I'm not even sure how it can be an actual right.

          • Some of those things out of print would be political or social commentary, and reports on government actions, as well as technical materials.

            Not everything out of print is "entertainment".

      • So you can buy the freedom to listen?

        Ahh, the joys of capitalism where your freedom is dependent on your wallet's fillings.

        • Even if you cannot afford to buy the freedom to listen, you also have the freedom to speak. Copyright doesn't get rid of that, whereas China's censorship does.
          • What is the freedom to speak good for if there is nobody who'd listen to it? That's basically why this right has never really been eliminated, and why most countries don't bother to. As long as you're not heard, you can scream as loud as you want to, and the louder the better so you add to the noise. Should anyone who isn't wanted to be heard speak loud enough, he'll get bullied 'til he caves in.

            • by tsa (15680)

              I think people in Bahrein and Libya and some other countries like China, for instance, will think otherwise. So people do listen to you, and they have some very nasty ways to stop you saying what you want.

          • by houghi (78078)

            Freedom of speech? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkHg3M6eUB8 [youtube.com]
            Look at how they ask people to shut up. Freedom of the press? Look at how they tell a news person (with the big camera) to stop filming.

            You have the freedom to do as you are told. If you do not behave according to form, you will be arrested.

            If that is freedom, then I am glad I don't have it.

        • Yeah because the freedom to download a CAM rip of a sequel to a reboot of a recast of a movie based on a crap 1960's TV series for free and rather than paying a few bucks to see it in a cinema is totally the same as the freedom to call for people's rights under the countries constitution to be respected [wikipedia.org]

          So people being sued for downloading bad copies of worse movies in the US is totally the same as Liu Xiaobo being arrested for asking the Chinese government to respect things like Article 35 of the Chinese co [peopledaily.com.cn]

      • Not all copyright is used for censorship, but it can be used for that purpose. For one well-known example, Disney uses it to ensure that some of it's early works are never seen (legally, anyway) again, as they featured some casual racism that didn't raise an eyebrow at the time but would be seen as unacceptable today. The Church of Scientology is also infamous for using copyright to prevent dissenters and critics from discussing it's books, taking legal action against any opponent of the church who quotes a
      • How is copyright remotely similar to censorship?

        When we have laws like this one:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millenium_Copyright_Act [wikipedia.org]

    • I was going to remark that perhaps this would serve to provide some perspective to those who try to claim that the US is some authoritarian monster; but I guess I underestimated slashdot.

      • by Paul1969 (1976328)

        Google "civil forfeiture laws" if you think the US is free of the taint of authoritarian monstrosity.

    • in general, making a sarcastic comment about the government on twitter will not get you a year in jail in a labor camp in the US. not yet anyways.

      it happened to a girl in china though.

    • +5 for this pro-oppression Chinese propaganda officer? What the hell has happened to you, slashdot? Its a sad day when the statement that upholding intellectual property law is less moral than authorities deleting information from the web to stop information about human suffering from propagating is considered at all "insightful".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2011 @02:48AM (#36284796)

    I can't help but wonder where wikileaks is on this subject. There was soo much hope and potential for wikileaks to be universally recognised across countries, continents and cultures as being pro liberty. Sadly the recent diversions have hindered this cause.

    • by lennier (44736)

      Sadly the recent diversions have hindered this cause.

      What an unfortunate coincidence. I'm sure there was absolutely no connection between Wikileaks annoying the heads of all major governments on Earth and the mysterious, sudden, and unexpected backlash of the media against them. It will be one of the 21st century's enduring mysteries for future anthropologists to ponder, like how Lady Gaga became famous.

      Well, that's all for our news slot! Next, a poodle who barks The Marseillaise - in Libya!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Always after my shCity Beef,
  • We need to do even more business with the Chinese. Because, of course, i've been told my entire life as an American that capitalism in the form of sweat shops, then KFCs and Walmarts are the way to overthrow governments and win the hearts and minds of people. So the more evil China does, the more business we need to do with them, FOR FREEDOM! Or something.

    • by c6gunner (950153)

      We need to do even less business with the North Koreans. Because, of course, i've been told my entire life as a Canadian that refusing to do business with Bad People is the way to overthrow governments and win the hearts and minds of people. So the more evil North Korea does, the less business we need to do with them, FOR FREEDOM! Or something.

  • In the future... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotmaiLIONl.com minus cat> on Monday May 30, 2011 @04:03AM (#36285044) Homepage

    I actually fully await for the US to start doing something similar some day. The PROTECT IP Act. et. al. are already a good way in the same direction, the next logical step would be "PROTECT CHILDREN Act" or "PROTECT INNOCENCE Act" which would allow the government to start censoring material for "ethical reasons."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 30, 2011 @04:22AM (#36285086)

    I did a search in China Daily http://search.chinadaily.com.cn/all_en.jsp?searchText=Inner+Mongolia+&searchword=Inner+Mongolia [chinadaily.com.cn] and these is no mention of this story at all. The entire story may very well be a fabrication by anti-revolutionary forces.

    I am in China, there really has been no mention of it. And you can be sure I posted Anonymously for this one.

  • The Tunisian contagion finally reaching China?
    Somehow I feel that all these "big" countries will suffer the same fate. China may actually collapse under it's own weight if something like this continues. Heck, the Tunisian revolution started from some small village in the south of it and then spread like fire on grass. China seems to have built the same tension from class differences and the rising social needs (and of course frustration from censorship).
    The chinese government might be able to distribute
    • by Hermanas (1665329)

      When it comes to the censorship of the Internet, especially on riots and uprisings, China has the patent. They've been doing it on a much larger scale and long before the Tunisian uprisings ever started - from Wikipedia:

      The regulation was passed in the 42nd Standing Convention of the State Council on 23 January 1996. It was formally announced on 1 February 1996, and updated again on 20 May 1997... In December 1997, Public Security minister Zhu Entao released new regulations to be enforced by the ministry that inflict fines for 'defaming government agencies,' 'splitting the nation,' and leaking "state secrets." Violators could face a fine up to 15,000 Yuan ($1800).

      They censored the July 2009 Urumqi riots, the anniversary of Tiananmen Square protests, etc. etc.

      The point is, those doing the uprisings are a small majority compared to the size of the country, and the Chinese government is doing an extremely good job of containing the information.

    • When it comes to oppression, China are the masters. Any idiot can oppress a country using enough men with guns and some violent intimidation - but the government of China is so good at it, the population celebrates how the government is protecting them. Real experts in the field.
      • by Paul1969 (1976328)

        Population celebrating how the government is protecting them? Gee, that sounds like... Memorial Day.
        Irony level rising.

    • by MaDeR (826021)
      China will not change any time soon. They are, as for now, able to give bread and circus. As long as they can dope in this way proverbial unwashed masses, they can sleep sound and safe.
  • Doesn't 'Blog' get the idea across? I mean, is huffpo a 'Megablog'? And if so should 'Microsoft' be forced to rebrand as 'Gigantosoft'? Just sayin'

  • China and Ingsoc have such a nice ring together, don't you think?

  • Non outer mongolia

  • Looks like there's pictures and a small blip of text about it here: http://www.innermongolia.org/english/index.html [innermongolia.org] It also looks like all Chinese news sites (.cn) are censoring any mention of it as well.
  • I just made a post saying "Inner Mongolia. Is Inner Mongolia being censored?" in Chinese on Renren. Nope, no problems, instant send. Asked a friend to ask their friends, grapevine says no protests in any major cities in Neimenggu.

    This sounds like bullshit to me. Not even China censors so well that not a single mention of the protests is found ANYWHERE. Tianya would have like 20 threads a minute,like during the Uighur riots (okay, minor exaggeration). Sounds more like a made-up non-story.

    The real story

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