A Little Study of the Internet Censorship in China
Last Sunday I did a post on internet censorship in China where I mixed in various different ideas and I’m afraid the final result regarding Search Engine Censorship didn’t come out as clear as I would have liked. I think it is an important subject, so here are the complete results:
We will be looking at Google.cn, Google.com and Baidu.com, and we will try in each of them 3 different kind of search terms.
A- Charter 08: In all its combinations, which are 08宪章 and 零八宪章
B- Political Terms: Tiananmen incidents (天安门六四事件), FLG.
C- Vulgar words: Sex. I will employ the “blog job” and the “chicken bar”.
It is understood that in all cases the search terms are in Simplified Chinese. The browser is Firefox 3.0.5. and the connection is a normal home DSL by China Telecom. The possible results are:
1. Free Search – Results look consistent and realistic, like the ones obtained in the West.
2. Reset Connection (RC) – This can only be seen in Mainland China. The result is an image like the one below and the search engine cannot open anymore for a while (I estimate 30 seconds). RC is not directly done by the Search Engine. Wikipedia internal search also gives RCs for B Terms.
3. Forbidden Message (FM) – This is the forbidden Message that, with slight variations, is the same as shown below. It says something in the lines of: “Some results are not displayed according to the local laws, regulations and policies”.
4. Manipulated Results (MR)- This is the case where the results are obviously manipulated, for example in the search of 天安门六四事件 (Tiananmen incident) on Baidu, where all the results are official newspapers such as People’s Daily, etc. Sometimes it can also carry on top of the page a FM.
Read also Charter 08: Why it should be called Wang from Chinayouren.