Author Topic: China, Google and Internet censorship  (Read 13834 times)

Offline Steel Ersatz Man

  • Red Cape
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • I'm a Red Cape, aren't I?
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2010, 06:23:14 AM »
I agree with Zackirus.
We are the steel alliance. None shall take our hill!

Offline KZ

  • Global Moderator
  • White Cape
  • *****
  • Posts: 1161
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2010, 08:58:26 AM »
Personally, I also go with what Zackrius broadly stated. What is, however, concerning is the degree to which such freedoms are starting to get limited. Not only do you get overall censorship thoughts from the governments that are supposed to be democratic (read Australia and UK), there is now the point of putting it at the hands of the officials the decision what to consider appropriate and what not, even if the content is legal, but, say, voices an extreme view- so even if you're looking at something from a relatively innocent persepctive (say, you're wrtiting a thesis on it), you can still get a visit from authorities. Here is a BBC article that does make me feel unseasy, especially the last part, with suggestions this be expanded to unies and all other internet cafes- (not the part about discrimination aginst Muslims- that's just shifts the focus in the wrong direction- the worry is more global, about rights to privacy and be able to access information and make your own judgements upon it). And this is UK we're talking about, not Saudi Arabia or China, where state inteferece in private matters is pretty much commonplace.
Welcome to the forums!
Read the rules, use proper grammar and punctuation, play the games, share your ideas and enjoy your stay!

Offline SmartyPants

  • White Cape
  • ***
  • Posts: 1814
    • View Profile
    • -----
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2010, 02:26:12 PM »
You have to draw some line at how much control the government should be allowed to have to protect the people.

"Since its enactment in the weeks following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the tools in the Patriot Act have been used by law enforcement to stop more than 400 terrorist threats to our families and communities," Jim Gerlach

"If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom," Dwight D. Eisenhower

Steelfist

  • Guest
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2010, 09:36:40 AM »
I have no personal problem with internet censorship, and there are advantages, but the principle implies restriction of privacy and freedom.

It is, however, worrying as to how far the government intends to take this restriction of privacy and freedom.

Offline Pylons

  • Mechanic
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2010, 09:43:15 PM »
You can only stretch the Constitution so far (at least in the U.S.).

Offline SmartyPants

  • White Cape
  • ***
  • Posts: 1814
    • View Profile
    • -----
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2010, 12:49:13 PM »
You can only stretch the Constitution so far (at least in the U.S.).
I don't think China uses the US constitution.

Offline Pylons

  • Mechanic
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2010, 08:51:26 PM »
Seeing as you posted some quotes from U.S. politicians, I assumed we were talking about the U.S.

Anyways, I don't see the problem with censorship, given your example, in China.

Just don't post any seditious material and you're fine.

If I was a civil-rights blatherer living in China I'd definitely get some people to stage an attack on my interwebz because it would get me attention and sympathy from Sinophobic Westerners.

Offline Guye

  • Stone Golem
  • *
  • Posts: 44
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2010, 08:23:19 PM »
I have a sister that lived in China until problems were found with her daughter's passports (her's was just fine) and from what I've heard the censorship in China is wholly indefensible (in her opinion) and that on certain topics you could only guess at the truth (or accept what your told  :-X), because the information you were given was so twisted that it (the truth) was wholly unrecognizable. Of course I've never been there, but I have been told that it has imprisoned more journalists than any other country on earth.

I can understand the censorship of some topics that are widely believed to be immoral, though the means with which this censorship would take place and the content which could be censored would have to be very clear and defined in a "fair" and non-invasive manner (I can understand it, I'm not for it). But when it is a government who decides what is considered "seditious" then I can't stand by it. Giving a powerful leader the ability to whitewash anything that makes him/her/them look bad (implicitly or no) is just asking for trouble. Honestly, I don't think there is a government on earth that I would trust with such a responsibility.

Why would a country need to censor "seditious" ideas, anyways? If they are ridiculous then you only need to rely on your ability to adequately explain to your people why it is so. If they aren't ridiculous then they shouldn't be censored in the first place. It is the people who should decide if the content they are reading is immoral or not. In my opinion, a governments role is to serve the wills of the largest number of its people possible, to the best of its ability, regardless of what that will is.

Also I've been suspicious of Google ever since they started that "Don't be Evil" thing.  :P

Offline SmartyPants

  • White Cape
  • ***
  • Posts: 1814
    • View Profile
    • -----
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2010, 07:33:32 AM »
The only time a government needs to keep something a secret is when it is for the safety of its people.  For example, the Manhattan Project or when a terrirost talks.  Also when the government does keep secrets, then they should do so without violating the rights of journalist.

Offline Pylons

  • Mechanic
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2010, 07:46:00 PM »
I have a sister that lived in China until problems were found with her daughter's passports (her's was just fine) and from what I've heard the censorship in China is wholly indefensible (in her opinion) and that on certain topics you could only guess at the truth (or accept what your told  :-X), because the information you were given was so twisted that it (the truth) was wholly unrecognizable. Of course I've never been there, but I have been told that it has imprisoned more journalists than any other country on earth.

I can understand the censorship of some topics that are widely believed to be immoral, though the means with which this censorship would take place and the content which could be censored would have to be very clear and defined in a "fair" and non-invasive manner (I can understand it, I'm not for it). But when it is a government who decides what is considered "seditious" then I can't stand by it. Giving a powerful leader the ability to whitewash anything that makes him/her/them look bad (implicitly or no) is just asking for trouble. Honestly, I don't think there is a government on earth that I would trust with such a responsibility.

Why would a country need to censor "seditious" ideas, anyways? If they are ridiculous then you only need to rely on your ability to adequately explain to your people why it is so. If they aren't ridiculous then they shouldn't be censored in the first place. It is the people who should decide if the content they are reading is immoral or not. In my opinion, a governments role is to serve the wills of the largest number of its people possible, to the best of its ability, regardless of what that will is.

Also I've been suspicious of Google ever since they started that "Don't be Evil" thing.  :P

Firstly, since when was a government's role to cater to people?

A government's responsibility is to cater to the people. If they were at the peoples' whims there would be nothing done because of the conflict in interests between the upper and lower class. Instead, a government needs to be hard-pushing, they need tax money, which, though it will negatively impact peoples' lives in the short term, will increase the prosperity of the state.

A good reason to censor seditious material is to inculcate a strong nationalism in the people. That way, in case of a war, China will have more manpower.

And yes, China may have a lot of reporters in jail but it has more reporters than any country in the world thanks to its large population, and again, free press and censorship do not jive very well together.

And about the passport...
Are you really sure it was valid? China isn't going to kick Westerners out randomly (assuming you are one), seeing as few Westerners live in China anyways and provide income for CCTV9, malls, and other companies. As long as your sister or her daughter had a valid passport and didn't really tick the government off they would still be there.

Offline Guye

  • Stone Golem
  • *
  • Posts: 44
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2010, 10:01:53 PM »
I honestly think that it IS the governments role to cater to its people. If the people suffer for it, then they have only themselves to blame. But then that's an opinion. Ultimately all when can have is an opinion. As what is "best" depends on your values. And values vary from person to person.

Creating a sense of Nationalism can hardly be called a worthy end when the means is the suppression of your people's will, but that, once again, is merely my own opinion. But then having my own opinion (assuming it was considered seditious) could be considered a bad thing by you, couldn't it?

I'm quite certain that my sister told me that she had to leave due to an issue with her daughters passport (when I said "hers was just fine" earlier I was referring to my sisters). I wouldn't say that she was kicked out, but that she was simply a victim of circumstance.. That being said, this happened years ago and I can't really recall the details.

Its true that China has a vastly large population and this could partially account for the statistics I was citing earlier, but can you honestly tell yourself that it accounts for the entire thing? That sometimes the censorship they use isn't corrupt? That on rare occasion they do things for themselves and not for the greater good? It my personal belief that this happens quite often,  but I'm fairly certain it won't be yours. That being said... I doubt even you believe that they are always looking out for their people. That EVERY act is for the greater good. Despite what their propaganda might say.

And if after all that you still believe that everything I say is incorrect or simply idiotic, then I will concede the point to you as we are currently derailing the thread.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 10:48:57 PM by Guye »

Offline Pylons

  • Mechanic
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #26 on: April 28, 2010, 08:05:38 PM »
Did/do your parents make you go to school because you loved sitting in classrooms for seven hours a day? No, they made you go to school because it would benefit you in the long run.
 
You cannot assume something is wrong because you happen to think it is immoral. I happen to as well, but there is honestly no rational reason for such an idea. Fifty years ago racism was the norm in America. Now it is completely unfashionable. You could just as easily argue that unifying the people outweighs potential censorship, but given the trends of the times such an argument is what we perceive as grotesque and bizarre.

About your sister, if it was just her daughter who had the invalid passport it was her choice to leave China. Honestly, most Chinese have a very healthy respect for Westerners and she probably wasn't maligned.

Of course a larger population doesnít account for all the imprisonments, that is very clear, and although I often disagree with the Communist Partyís monopoly over the media I can easily see why they would do such a thing, and I also know that a monopoly is not necessarily evil. China still produces millions and millions of cheap goods for other countries, exports hardworking and often well-educated immigrants to other countries (namely the U.S. and Singapore), and has the fastest growing economy in the world, so I donít see what we have to complain about as China Inc. is still working at a furious clip despite what you may see as an evil leadership.

Offline Guye

  • Stone Golem
  • *
  • Posts: 44
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #27 on: May 01, 2010, 10:49:20 PM »
I do hate to trek further off topic, but just to clarify. I don't intend to imply that Chinese leadership is evil. I simply believe that practically all people are, to some degree, corrupt. And that given larger amounts of power the corruption becomes more apparent. I don't believe that China is a really bad place to live, and I never intended to infer that my sister was forced out of the country. I just can't see "unification through censorship" as a worthwhile goal. I can't see the pros in a logical sense outweighing the cons. The benefits of censorship are just too slim in all the necessary ways and too easily facilitates corrupt actions. And the cost is immeasurable... literally, due to it being censored and all. :P

Offline SmartyPants

  • White Cape
  • ***
  • Posts: 1814
    • View Profile
    • -----
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2010, 08:11:38 AM »
A good reason to censor seditious material is to inculcate a strong nationalism in the people. That way, in case of a war, China will have more manpower.
Isn't that the first rule in having a fascist govenment? 

The benefits of censorship are just too slim in all the necessary ways and too easily facilitates corrupt actions. And the cost is immeasurable... literally, due to it being censored and all. :P
The job of the media is to make sure the government is doing what is suspose to do.  If the govenment controls the media, then the government can do whatever they want to do.  That will lead to further corruption and immoral actions in the government.

Offline Pylons

  • Mechanic
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: China, Google and Internet censorship
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2010, 09:34:38 PM »
A good reason to censor seditious material is to inculcate a strong nationalism in the people. That way, in case of a war, China will have more manpower.
Isn't that the first rule in having a fascist govenment? 

The benefits of censorship are just too slim in all the necessary ways and too easily facilitates corrupt actions. And the cost is immeasurable... literally, due to it being censored and all. :P
The job of the media is to make sure the government is doing what is suspose to do.  If the govenment controls the media, then the government can do whatever they want to do.  That will lead to further corruption and immoral actions in the government.

To your first comment, I have to reply:

So what?

To your second:

Free media also leads to rampant yellowness and populism.

Also, media is not, as many seem to think, a magic bullet to sway the people. There are the problems of access to media and living conditions. Ultimately, if there are enough discontented people, the government will lose all its power because it has no base of support.

Your weasel wording also disturbs me; what do you define as immoral or corrupt, and what evidence do you have to back it?