Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

Why does China have internet censorship?

I am doing a paper on internet censorship in China, and I need articles from reputable sources on why China has internet censorship. Why is China hiding information from their people, how it affects the people there, how it violates human rights, how it is bad for society etc. What is their reason for censoring the internet, and media.

Please include sources!!!! Thank you!

14 Answers

  • Mads
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Golden Shield project was proposed to the State Council by Premier Zhu Rongji in 1993. As a massive surveillance and content control system, it was launched in November 2000, and became known as the Great Firewall of China. However, the blocking of websites can be circumvented and is generally ineffective at preventing the flow of information to determined individuals. The effectiveness of the project is the limitation on access it creates for the majority of users who are not technologically savvy or intent on seeking information. Some argue that it is more effective at providing a Chilling effect rather than actually blocking content.

    The Internet has provided some interesting tactics for the dissemination of news. In contrast to some early fears that the fluidity of web content would make it easy to rewrite history and strengthen the hand of the government, the opposite appears true. One common tactic in publishing sensitive topics is to post the article on a newspaper website, and then comply with government orders to take it down. By the time the article is removed, people will have read it negating the point of the censorship order.

    However, in fear of closure, online service providers sometimes hire moderators known as big mama to monitor user-provided content. Nevertheless, some officially supported websites such as the Strong Country Forum hosted by the People's Daily are less restricted than others in discussing sensitive topics.

    Amnesty International notes that China “has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world.” The "offences" they are accused of include "communicating with groups abroad", "opposing the persecution of the Falun Gong", "signing online petitions" and "calling for reform and an end to corruption".

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Reasons For Internet Censorship

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Japan has no Internet censorship. China does have massive Internet censorship. I was in Guangzhou last year and and tried to email pictures of a child I was adopting back to the US. The first email got through but none of the 10 I sent after that. Many Web sites are blocked by the Chinese government and ALL activity on the Web is monitored.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mao Zedong, the communist China leader once said "religion is the opiate of the masses" (google it for a source, there's tons). He felt religion essentially brainwashed people, making them complacent and ... well, stupid. Ironically, today there is the internet. If religion was an opiate, the internet is crystal meth. As a result of the free-flow of knowledge and ideas via the internet, citizens of communist China have been exposed to mind-altering ideas formally inaccessible to billions of them. Think what it must have been like for Native American's to have witnessed the awe of the muzzle loader when the Europeans landed.

    If billions of people suddenly realized that, Hey, our government is a bunch of jacka***s! We're being treated unfairly! There's corruption in our government. Innocent political dissenters are being tortured. Etc. What might be a possible response? A coup. A revolution. A whole host of bad things could result.

    The logical conclusions for such a government? Censor the internet and what the masses can see, hear, read, and learn. Ultimately, though, it will only stall the flow of knowledge and ideas. A partially censored internet is better than no internet at all. Proxies, baby. Proxies.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not a primary source, but my friend went deep into China on a missionary trip. The only reason the group was allowed in is because the leader is on good terms with the government and he was building freshwater irrigation to a village that did not have it.

    In regards to the political atmosphere, the biggest thing is that these people think they live in the best country on earth. They don't even question it, they have been taught since birth that China is the privileged nation on earth. If Google wasn't censored it would sort of ruin that whole atmosphere because people there would be like freedomwtf!?!?

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Outside of Hong Kong & Macau the rest of China now has very high levels of Internet censorship. Most expats living in the country now have a VPN installed on their computer so that they can not only unblock all of the many blocked sites but also access western TV sites that are otherwise blocked such as BBC, ITV & NBC channels online.

    Source(s): See to install this.
  • Bryan
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    The government does not want their average citizens to be able to compare their everyday life with that of other nations. Too much information could lead to revolt of the masses of which there are well over 1.5 billion. China does not want to disturb the conditions that now exist. How many Chinese do they want comparing working conditions with those in other countries. How much do you think they would value a job paying 50 cents an hour in deplorable working conditions with NO benefits at all. If you are sick and can't work... you are simply replaced. A friend of mine in China sometimes asks questions for which he cannot do a search.

  • 1 decade ago

    In an effort to actually answer the question rather then a knee jerk reaction about human rights here is what I know as a Canadian working in China.

    No one here cares much at all about or even notices the censorship.


    China already has sites that do all of the same things as major sites in Western countries (ie. Google, Youtube, etc but is more relevant to Chinese interest). The people that are generally affected by the blockages are westerners. (Honestly? You can't miss what you've never had)

    As for why they block it -

    Chinese government strives to maintain harmonious living as best they can. They do not want to people exposed to information and/or ideas that promote dissent, hatred, etc.

    THey also believe that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. One minority group's outrage should not infest and destroy the harmonious living of the other 1.6 billion people living here. Mao Zedong himself was quite open about not caring that people died during the cultural revolution because the end result was that far far more people benefitted and went on to create a very strong country and communities. (for more information, the human rights wikipedia entry for China and the entry on Mao Zedong both have more specific quotes on that)

    With regards to the actual sites blocked they generally fall under the following categories:

    1. Sites containing information that may breed hatred towards the CHinese government.

    After 5000 years of history and 1.6 billion people, China is very close to becoming the most powerfu country on Earth. Obviously the system is working, and open opposition to the government is pretty needless bickering that leads only to unneeded unrest and anger. Far better to maintain a contented population that loves and trusts that their government has their best interest (most people here really do feel that way, and patriotism is quite strong here)

    2. Sites on which people can gather into groups very quickly for the purpose of spreading information (ie. Facebook).

    This is to avoid situations where either false, true or exagerrated or biased anti-government information can quickly be spread to large numbers.

    3. Sites with offensive content (ie. pornography)

    Would you want you own kids looking up sick fetish videos? The government here doesn't want their children exposed to that either. God knows it hasn't done western countries much good to encourage objectifying women and desensitization to violence.

    4. Sites that contain the above but cannot be readily censored by the chinese government (ie. Youtube)

    WHen I first came here, I was enraged about things being blocked, and still to this day find it really annoying that I have to go to great lengths just to see a funny link that someone posted but honestly? I haven't 'stumbled' on a porn site in over a year, I certainly don't miss hearing people go on and on about all the reasons they have to hate something their government did (honestly, when's the last time you met anyone that DIDN'T have something bad to say??) and have a much better view of the world being that I've grown up in an anti-communist country, and have now seen it from the other point of view. I'd have to say I'd be more willing to remain in China with it's censorship knowing that the end result is a safe, happy community with friendly, well-adjusted people and no crime or fear or paranoia, and know that my country was also economically strong.

    Yeah, sure they are times where as a foreigner in China I get taken advantage of, or don't have many rights, but again, it's all about the big picture in China and my problems are barely a ripple in a vast ocean. Sucks for me but last time I looked my 'western' way of living was leading to a country about to go bankrupt.

    Source(s): I moved to China just over one year ago - I don't speak chinese, don't read the English language papers, don't follow the hype. I just observe what I see and listen to what people here say and live it myself
  • 紫杉
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Agreed with Tara.

    Every country censors the internet. Ever heard of a moderator?

    In fact, 11 of the 13 main servers on which the internet is run, are in U.S.

    So the American government needs not block out information, it simply deletes anything unwanted, and writes anything false necessary to brainwash its people.

    If you're doing a paper, you should study the facts, not media propaganda.

    Source(s): Independent thinking...
  • .
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Reporters without borders has information. It also gives a press freedom index which shows China as almost the worst country on earth out of the 175 it rated on censorship.

    Amnesty international, Human rights watch...will give you more info.

    The reason China has censorship is because their is a lot of societal and ethnic injustice in the country and a lot of groups of people who believe they are not part of China.

    China is afraid that if it can't convince its citizens that everything is going better than it really is that their will be more and larger uprisings against the government.

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