Reports on Internet censorship from Chinese cyberspace

From (translated by CDT):

Shanghai Normal University set up a “BBS Guiding Team” yesterday. The BBS Guiding Team, composed of more than 500 trusted students, will act as the information policeman in the university’s 200 BBS.

Shanghai Normal University BBS released a series of initiatives with “developing the socialistic sense of honor and disgrace” as the theme. The BBS Guiding Team is one of them. The university’s deputy secretary of the Youth League said the BBS Guiding Team will lead the online remarks through “proper response” and “positive action”.

From Xinhuanet (translated by CDT):

The Internet Media in Beijing Release Online News Review System

In order to enforce the self-regulation of the Internet media in Beijing, Beijing’s main commercial websites released an Online News Review System on Apr. 13, and started an open recruitment of members of the review committee.

According to the statistics, there are almost 130,000 websites in Beijing, among them 15 are ranked in the 100 most-visited websites in the world, and 3 are among the top 10. Eleven websites are public companies, with total marketing capital amounting to $10 billion. The daily news articles on Beijing’s websites number about 40,000; forum posts and news follow-ups number about 700,000; total page views are over 1 billion; and total visitors are above 100 million.

In the last year, Beijing Internet News Media Association initiated the online news review system. Members of the association organized a review committee and released a general agreement. They periodically disclose the “irregular” online news, and criticize and warn those who harm the interests of netizens and the credibility of online media. The punishments include orders of apology, mutual condemnation, and legal consequences from the governmental bureaus. The committee is composed of experts, netizens, representatives from the websites and governmental departments, and the content to be reviewed is from the netizens’ reports, the mutual supervision of the websites, and issues referred by the governmental department. Starting from today, the periodical review turns into a formal system, with 42 well-known websites taking part.

Beijing’s first online news review committee is composed of 51 members from universities, enterprises, press and 16 websites. The first order from the committee demands that all member websites commit a self-check and mutual supervision, and asks them to submit the supervision result and to report the wrongdoers.

A Tale Of Memento Mori blog (translated by CDT)::

The keyword filtering creates huge difficulties in the regular research of scientific researchers and university teachers and students in China. A normal keyword search is subjected to a possible reset, and will cause the related websites to be shut down within a few minutes. Those difficulties strongly hinder researchers who frequently need to search foreign technology websites, search engines, and databases. In order to circumvent the filtering system, several countermeasures, such as character-split, homonym, and symbol replacement, were created, which form a unique cultural sight on the Internet. A netizen’s satire on the keyword censorship was widely spread. Using the character-split, he goes:

“‰∏ç Áü¢Âè£ ‰∫ªÂçÅ Âπ∫ Êó•ÂØ∏ ÂÄôÔºå‰∫ªÂ•Ñ Âè£Êñ§ Ë®ÄÂÖë ˮĉªë Âúü‰∫ë Êúâ Ëæ∂ÂØ∏ Ê∞µËôë ÁôΩÂã∫ Ë®ÄÂÖë Ê∞µÂéªÔºå‰∫é ÊòØÔºå‰∫ªÂ•Ñ Â≠¶ ‰ºö‰∫Ü ÊâåÊñ• Â≠ó„ÄÇÂêé Êù• Ôºå ‰∫ªÂ•Ñ Á±≥Èùí Á§ªÁî≥ ÂàÜ Ë£Ç ‰∫Ü”

“I am not sure when I heard about the Internet censorship, and I started to split Chinese characters to avoid the censorship. Later on, my spirit was split as well.”


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