Bloggers Brace for ‘Reign of Terror’
The National’s Paul Mooney reports from Beijing:
“More and more people are turning away from the mainstream media to the internet and blogs for their information,” said Xiao Qiang, director of the China Internet Project at the University of California, Berkeley. Southern Metropolis Weekly recently ran a list of the 20 most influential figures in cyberspace, saying the internet had given Chinese “an unprecedented platform to express themselves”.
The article went on to say that traditional elites in China could no longer monopolise the shaping of public opinion and that “ordinary citizens and anonymous bloggers are becoming more and more influential”.
…When asked if the government can rein in the internet, Mr Xiao said: “You can control the impact to a certain degree, but you can’t put those voices back in the box.