Stifling the voices

My book, The Blogging Revolution, examines the Western corporates that assist the Chinese regime in its internet censorship program.

According to yesterday’s New York Times, the Communists are cracking down ever-harder in the last months:

It was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek alternative to the stultifying variety show beamed into hundreds of millions of living rooms on the eve of each Lunar New Year holiday. But the program, called “Shanzhai,” which roughly translates as “knockoff” or “underground” gala, was not to be.

After television stations withdrew their promised slots, the extravaganza’s producers turned to the Internet. Those who tried to download the three-hour program on Jan. 25, however, were disappointed. The show had been quashed by censors, presumably for its mockery of a hallowed state-molded institution.

The incident has provoked howls among China’s so-called netizens, who say it is another example of the Communist Party’s heavy-handed oversight of the Web. Since early January, the government has been waging a decency campaign that has closed more than 1,500 Web sites found to contain sex, violence or “vulgarity.” Numerous other sites, including Google, have responded by removing any pages that might offend puritanical sensibilities.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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