Chinese Bloggers’ Respond to the Internet Crackdown

The Chinese government has launched a new wave of the ongoing Internet crackdown against vulgar and pornographic content. Many Chinese bloggers have reacted strongly to the campaign; here are some samples of their reactions. Translated by CDT:

A web editor/blogger of the online China Petroleum magazine had the following experience recently, and wrote this post on his website, titled “First-class information surveillance and interception system reminds you!”

When I saw the words above, I was furious. My limbs went cold and my whole body was trembling. What the hell is this “first-class information surveillance and interception system reminds you”? This line drove me absolutely bonkers on the Chinese New Year! Today I visited my previous blog, which mainly links to my Internet friends’ sites. It was ok for me to log on to the front page, but whatever I clicked on, I got the following message: “First-class information surveillance and interception system reminds you: We are very sorry. The operation is invalid because the content you submitted or visited contained keywords not permitted by the system or your IP was proscribed from visiting. The system has recorded your IP and the data you submitted. Please note, do not submit any content that violates national regulations. The relevant information for this interception is: the webpage uses GZIP compression.”

I didn’t type in any content that violates national regulations. I don’t expect the luxury of enjoying the freedom of speech as stated in the constitution, but how have I violated national regulations by not discussing politics and just writing some professional notes and essays? It is insane, completely beyond my comprehension. Even if I have violated the rules, at least please kindly tell me which part is problematic. I can’t make sense of the message at all. I am totally puzzled.

Blogger Jiongrenzijiong wrote: The current emperor is wise and uses both guns on the table and arrows underneath.

The recent developments have been quite interesting. The emperor’s court moved to rectify low-taste websites and during the process strangled some websites of conscience as well. Those intellectuals who have a faith in freedom certainly would not be resigned. They went as far as issuing an open letter to advocate a boycott of CCTV. You attacked their instrument for expression; they hit back at your instrument for expression. It is the so-called reciprocity. “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” It is indeed a tried-and-true axiom. But I can predict that it will not be that easy to boycott our imperial broadcaster. It will definitely announce things like its Lunar New Year Eve gala show’s rating was over 90 percent and more than 80 percent of the viewers like it. And you cohorts of mutineers and traitors advocating the boycott will be rounded up on charges related to pornography, or organized crimes, or subverting state power. It’s not hard to find a proper charge.

In the past, the emperor’s court has established the “reporting center for illegal and harmful web information.” The current emperor was not broadly collecting frank suggestions and criticisms, but broadly embedding informants across the country. After that, Boxun News reported that police officers were stationed in offices set up by the government in major Internet content providers and service providers(Log on with proxy).

The two moves have informants and regulators, intimidation and instruction, arrows underneath and guns on the table, estrangement and rape, extermination and prevention. Obviously the harsh winter for liberalism is just around the corner. Those who have the ability to resist, please resist. Those who don’t have the ability, become part of the silent majority or turn yourself in.

PS: One more grudge – If being able to speak can be called freedom of speech, then in China’s 5,000-year history (let’s assume it’s exactly 5,000 years), except the three years under the Li emperor of Zhou Dynasty when no one was allowed to speak, isn’t it true that there has been freedom of speech in the remaining 4,997 years?

Also from Jiongrenzijiong:

What else do we have when romance and sex become taboo topics?

The censors’ rationale is understandable. Hasn’t that declaration letter signed by thousands and spread exponentially across the country at the end of last year unnerved royalties, ministers and eunuchs from their midnight dreams? That’s the very reason why the incumbent sovereign rebuked the “stray path of changing banners” and admonished rebellious citizens not to roil things up. A glance at the calendar will tell you that those dates in the year ahead, if roiled up, won’t have any difficulty in matching the eventfulness of last year. If I were in their position, I would also have been thinking about how to snuff out the spark.

I heard many commentators say the campaign was actually aimed at striking “instigators” under the disguise of rooting out pornography. It is hard for us short-sighted and ignorant subjects to guess the emperor’s intentions. But if it is really using this force to target something else, as pointed out by some people, I can’t help laughing at the stupidity of the current emperor. Think about it, “not to discuss state affairs” has been a long-established rule under this dynasty. To allow people to talk about romance and sex has been a great tactic to keep them away from discussing politics. Now that romance and sex are banned, what else can we talk about next?

Fully Drunk Dolphin is a former Bulloger. He is now still blogging on more than one blog platforms, both in and outside of China. He shared some thoughts on independent blogging here:

1. One independent blog alone is not enough. There needs to be a backup site overseas as a full version and there needs to be one within China for the convenience of domestic users.

4. I am not a wealthy person, but I belong to the social stratus that needs not worry about food and clothing. So I’d like to play a little bit with the Great Firewall with the money I save on new shoes and clothes during the Chinese New Year. If I get blocked, I can brag about it: look, how influential I am! They blocked my IP! It is an independent IP and I was not incriminated by some pornographic site.

5.Writing blogs is to express a kind of dignity. I have something to say and you are not allowing me to, but I’ll go on and say it. You have no guts to take us on in debates and elections. It is your shame to shut down blogs, not mine.

6. Thank God for not making China into a super powerful country. If China’s powerful enough to order the American government to close my blog account, I wonder if those “patriotic youth” will jump and cheer.

7. Independent blog. It is not enough that the blog is independent. People have to be independent as well. I write blogs to make friends, not to be a mentor. Those who ask me to change my writing style to suite their reading tastes – I have no interest in communicating with them, because I write in my own style to attract like-minded people as friends, not to court those who don’t like me.

8. It is better to have a handful of smart readers than to have 1.3 billion retarded fans.