Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chinese censorship

China, a nation that is communist mainly in name, has certainly progressed from the brutal rule of Mao Zedong. Yet political and religious freedoms are still repressed.

China ranked 174th out of 179 countries in press freedom. Media outlets are heavily censored. For instance, the live showing of President Obama's inauguration address abruptly cut to black on Chinese TVs after Obama spoke of previous generations facing down fascism and communism Additionally, though the Beijing Olympics was meant to be a live broadcast, broadcast was delayed so that cameras could pick out activists wearing Free Tibet shirts and remove them.

Press Freedom Index- green indicating a good situation, pink indicating a bad situation, and yellow indicating noticeable problems. 

But most famous is the internet censorship in China. China's agreement with Google allows certain terms to return no results for Chinese computers when typed into the search bar (this can usually be worked around by searching for the terms in English). Many words deemed tied to dissent with the Chinese government have been blocked, such as "democracy," "oppression," and "persecution." Similarly blocked are the terms "Tibetan Independence" and any mention of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Websites blocked in China include Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Many foreign news sources are also blocked, and if they aren't, are blacked out when they post 'controversial' news stories. According to reports, 52 people are imprisoned in China for their online communications.

Among other forms of censorship, the Chinese government bans video games that it declares negatively portrays the Chinese or Chinese history. Chinese textbooks are also accused of glossing over or entirely skipping events that paint China in a negative light, such as the aforementioned Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Sources: Council on Foreign Relations, ABC News, Wikipedia

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