The First Law of Chinese Cyberspace
From UC Berkeley Barry Bergman’s post: ‘Soul of the New Machine’ Confab Geared to Human Rights:
To illustrate the power of blogging, Xiao Qiang, an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism and director of the China Internet Project, cited the collapse of schools during last year’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in the province of Sichuan — the result, he said, of the “deep corruption” of the Chinese government.
Qiang recounted how a lone blogger — an artist and architect who helped design China’s Olympic stadium — began collecting and publishing the names of thousands of students who had been killed as the region’s substandard schools crumbled. When Chinese censors deleted the postings, the lists were picked up by other bloggers, until the authorities had little option but to publish official lists of the victims.
“From an individual act, an inter national event,” said Qiang, adding that the story illustrates “the first law of Chinese cyberspace: Censorship meets resistance.”
The first law of Chinese cyberpolitics is “Where there are River Crabs, there are Grass-Mud Horses (那里有河蟹，那里就有草泥马).” According to this “Law of the Grass-Mud Horse,” online censorship always meets resistance.