And now, Red China blocks Feedburner feeds
Steve Rubel notes that Red China is now blocking Feedburner feeds (referred by Robin Capper).
This is a huge pity, as Feedburner is one of the better RSS services out there—I have watched my stats go up of late because of the feeds it provides from this blog. It is yet another example of Red China trying to control what the Chinese people may or may not access—and yet another action that will only serve to frustrate a population that is noticing, year after year, just what freedoms others have—and what it lacks.
Last week, Peter Begley emailed me to discuss a bit more about what he saw in China. While I won’t reveal our discussion publicly, I did note that Chinese government misdeeds in the last century caused two political revolutions. Censorship is a dangerous course to take today, as media phenomena are different. Rather than being driven by a few bodies, the blogosphere has shown it is driven by the many. The Politburo’s only solution is to shut down the lot—and that can hardly be competitive given Red China’s international trade ambitions.
One hundred and three Chinese intellectuals have already protested the closure of one site and demanded internet freedom—taking a huge, life-threatening risk themselves. It’s a tiny number out of a billion people, till you realize that protesters in the past have been met with jail terms. Beijing needs to be concerned, since, according to the Harvard Law School, Red China will have more people using the internet than any other country shortly.
Del.icio.us tags: Red China Chinese media freedom internet Posted by Jack Yan, 08:37
Update: Marc reports that his Feedburner feeds are OK in Shanghai, so the posts may have been premature. Mind you, it is worrying that if it were a glitch, our ﬁrst thought was censorship—in which case we have to question Red China’s image.
I think your updated observation (China's image re: censorship) is right on the money.
As an aside, one of the more interesting things I observed while interacting with locals and business people in China was a certain lack of understanding about what was missing. Even during the more meaty conversations I was able to have, it seemed that very few of the residents really understood the scope of information suppression that was going on. Those that were aware knew only that they were missing out, but not of what they were missing.
At the same time, I found that as my travels extended into a week and a half, I started to accept as completely normal occurrences the spotty internet connection (probably due to massive filtration), lack of access to western news sites and information, and the general tightening of content. It wasn't until I returned to the US that I realized just how much information was being blocked. I am sure some of my building acceptance and lack of awareness was due to travel fatigue, but the more likely reason is that I became comfortable there. I knew where to buy food, how much to pay for it, that my internet was slow, and that I shouldn't even bother checking news sites x, y, and z. Instead of questioning things, the reality of China became normal to me and didn't seem to impact me as much. I am sure that the same acclimatization happens to everyone if given enough time.
# posted by Peter Begley: 8/07/2006 02:52:00 PM
Thanks for the post Jack. Interestingly, I am meeting with 14 Christian leaders from Hong Kong next week. I am doing a presentation (testimony) but I fully intend to ask a lot of questions myself.
Peter, this is an amazing story—thank you for sharing. It’s funny how we, as human beings, acclimatize. It is not just fatigue, I believe, but because we pick up on a vibe around us and believe it to be normal. It’s why you can go to all the French lessons you need to and not master the language, yet the minute you set foot in France, it all becomes clear. Thus, the well travelled among us have a greater chance of seeing the faults of any one place, or understand just how lucky we are.Post a Comment
Randy, I hope your meeting goes well and I trust you will keep us posted on your blog.
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