Extent of Internet Censorship

Chinese Internet users do not have access to famous sites such as Google

Chinese Internet users do not have access to famous sites such as Google

Surfing the Internet in China is known to be unique all over the world. The information found in the “national World Wide Web” greatly differs from other democratic states. Due to China being a socialist state, the Internet content is highly regulated. It is in fact deemed by some to be the “great firewall of China” wherein it does not allow users from the People’s Republic to gain access on contents that the government deems as sensitive. Events like the protest happening in Tibet or when students were prohibited to conduct protest in Tian’anmen Square in June 1989. The government has the control over the content that should pass their standards. The primary factor that they consider on whatever posts to be put up in the Internet is the absence of criticism or attacks towards the government.

Chinese government constantly observe contents uploaded in the Internet

Chinese government constantly observe contents uploaded in the Internet

 

Another factor that they consider in the censorship of content is that the site should not be influenced by Western culture. Thus sites that are made in the West such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have been unavailable in the region. However some Chinese users still gain access through bypassing the system put up by the government. Despite some users gaining access to such site, the government still has a thorough censorship of various contents in the Internet. In fact the central government has employed more than fifty thousand online police officers to monitor the activities of the users. They actually observe online activities for 24 hours. Such content control agents do moderation of online content through influencing contents found on various threads on most popular bulleting boards (BBS). There are claims wherein users posting positive commentary on BBS receive payment from the government for about 50 cents a post. They have been called as the “Fifty Cent Party”. The rapid increase of users post a great challenge for the authorities on regulating online content.

Images by Daxue and China Law & Policy