Is Web2.0 a Wash for Free Speech in China? – Rebecca MacKinnon

Rebecca MacKinnon gives an update on the current status of the “Internet revolution” in China. From her RConversation blog:

Contrary to misperceptions by many outsiders, the situation in China today is not “the people vs. the government.” Chinese people themselves – not only regulatory authorities or people who manage internet and telecoms businesses but also many others – are helping the government to police each other because they somehow believe that doing so is in their own interests.

Back when Michael Anti’s blog got censored by Microsoft, an essay started making the rounds in the Chinese blogosphere whose point was, essentially, that Chinese people themselves are ultimately responsible for allowing their fellow countrymen to be censored – and that the ultimate solution is going to have to be initiated by the Chinese themselves. [Full text]