The practice of censoring the web and other news in China is one of the things that many western countries think China needs to change the most. In England, the country is facing some of the worst rioting it has ever seen and the government has proposed a regime of state censorship for social media to prevent the people from passing on messages that incite violence. The plan has been praised by the Chinese state media and bureaucrats, as they are happy to see one of the western government is finally coming around to their style of management …
In US and other western countries, much of their beliefs and culture are based on the notion that all should have unfettered access to the internet and other news sources without censorship. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has insinuated that the fix to the rioting may in part involve the censorship of the internet. He has stated that he wanted to stop the UK people from communication on social media when they are using it to instigate violence. Britain generally follows the same principles that the US holds dear when it comes to censorship. The statement made by the Prime Minister may have seemed somewhat unrealistic. That is until China speak out in support of the plan.
China sees a chance to use Cameron’s plan to support its own history of censorship of the web. The Chinese state media, Global Times, has weighed in on the debate suggesting that western countries are coming to realize that free speech cannot go unhindered on the internet. They have further commented on the media from the US and Britain, which used to criticize developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. They felt that the Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet.
For a long time, internet censorship has been the core of heated debates in China. Most Westerners who come to China, and are used to total access to social media back home, are shocked and confused by why the Chinese government blocks social media, and other foreign web services. The best example is the tenuous relationship between Google and the Chinese government. When the most democratic government in the world is considering banning or imposing controls on social media, it starts to give interesting perspective on whether the Chinese government as a communist government had reasonable grounds to block foreign social networks in China.
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