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posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday June 12, @08:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the glimpse-behind-the-Great-Firewall dept.

The Globe and Mail covers an unpublished Chinese censorship document revealing sweeping effort to eradicate online political content.

Chinese authorities have tightened their grip on the country's online broadcasting platforms, banning a long list of content – everything from tattoos to religious proselytizing, violations of "mainstream values," flirtatious dancing, images of leaders and Western political critiques – as the government seeks to stamp out any venue that could be used for dissent or behaviour it considers obscene, according to an unpublished censorship directive obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The meteoric growth of online video services in China has offered a vibrant venue for creativity and, occasionally, obscenity and political protest – unleashing a daily riptide of user-made cat videos, pranks and glimpses of everyday life. Hundreds of millions of people in China watch short video clips and live-stream video every month.

Chinese authorities have responded with strict new rules, ordering online broadcasters to eradicate a wide range of content, according to the document obtained by The Globe, which is entitled "Management requirements for live service information and content."

The document is being used as a master guideline for content blocking by some of the country's most-used video sites, multiple sources in the industry told The Globe. It began circulating early this year, and is believed to have been issued by the powerful Cyberspace Administration of China, China's central Internet authority, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Comments from Amnesty International and other organizations are included. The document outlines ten basic categories of banned content and provides insight into the Chinese government's goals.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:24PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:24PM (#691875)

    News at 11.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @01:29PM (#691876)

      Ask the French. Apparently they can get perfume back into the bottle.
      By perfume I mean fart.
      By bottle i mean...

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 12, @02:09PM (9 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @02:09PM (#691903) Journal

    Isn't that the same vision many in America have for the Internet, to eliminate wrong-think? After all, anything a man agrees with is sensible, but everything he doesn't is hate speech.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:15PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @03:15PM (#691942)

      From wswswswswsws, The end of net neutrality: The US ruling elite escalates campaign of internet censorship [wsws.org]:

      The proponents of abolishing net neutrality, led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, argue that the vast powers granted to ISPs are irrelevant because users will be free to switch ISPs if they are not satisfied with the actions of their current provider. This argument is so absurd that it hardly merits refutation.

      Despite this overwhelming public opposition, the ending of net neutrality on Monday was met largely with silence on the part of the Democrats and their aligned media outlets, and the implementation of this sweeping attack on democratic rights was not even mentioned on the evening news. As with everything else in America, popular opinion in the end counts for nothing.

      Over the past year, Google and the social media monopolies Facebook and Twitter have moved to implement a regime of internet censorship at the behest of the US intelligence agencies, for which the Democrats have served as the mouthpieces. The companies have worked to substantially diminish the readership of left-wing, anti-war and socialist websites—including the World Socialist Web Site —in the name of fighting “fake news” and “Russian meddling.”

      The ending of net neutrality marks a new stage in the drive to censor the internet. With the vast majority of written communication—and an ever-growing section of all communication—taking place online, the drive to censor and control the internet is a major step toward abolition of the freedom of expression in the United States.

      Emphasis mine.

      This is not the outcome merely of a change in administrations. It is part of a shift in the class policy of the ruling elite. The 2016 election, with its broad abstention by the working class amid widespread hostility to Hillary Clinton, the favored candidate of Wall Street, and the subsequent strike movement by teachers independently of the unions, has made clear to the ruling elite that the imposition of internet censorship is necessary for the defense of its domination of society.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Tuesday June 12, @06:28PM (2 children)

        by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @06:28PM (#692044) Journal

        These would be the proverbial interesting times, it seems...

        --
        I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 12, @08:44PM (1 child)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @08:44PM (#692097) Journal

          When I was doing graduate work in Manchuria I made money on the side as a paid lecturer. I was trying to work that curse into one of my speeches on industrialization and modernity and asked my Chinese roommate, a PhD candidate in physics at China's equivalent of M.I.T., what the exact saying in Mandarin was and he had no idea what I was talking about. So I asked my professors in social sciences, history, and literature there and they had never heard of it either.

          It turned out one of the most famous sayings people know about China and repeat often is completely fictional. No such curse or saying exists.

          On a slightly related note, nobody in China says 'chop chop' either. In Mandarin people say 'kuai kuai,' which sounds nothing like 'chop chop.'

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @03:17AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @03:17AM (#692202)

            Thank you for confirming my suspicions. I have spent time in China too and consider myself decently familiar with Chinese culture, and I have never seen this chestnut come from anywhere but US talking heads.

            "Kuai dian" is what I told taxi drivers if they needed to get a move on, but "chop-chop" seems to have attestable origins within (Pidgin) Cantonese.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Tuesday June 12, @04:23PM (3 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @04:23PM (#691980) Journal

      Isn't that the same vision many in America have for the Internet, to eliminate wrong-think?

      And the EU as well, which is further along than the US on that hate speech game. I imagine there's a lot of people impressed worldwide with the Chinese government's ability to just do stuff: build high speed rail systems, build vast numbers of renewable energy power generators, put people in space, make new cities, build a developed world economy - just like that. But now we see the worm in the apple. It's a lot easier for that power to be used to suppress peoples' criticism of these actions than it is to do the right things.

      For example, Chinese government could fix Chinese pollution, just like that (well in a couple of decades like the US and EU did), but instead they're suppressing complaints about pollution.

      The environment is a sensitive topic, and the document bans airing of investigation results or incident causes related to smog, water protection and soil pollution.

      Sure, it's a terrible idea to let the US government get this bad, but I think the real story here is how corrupting this power is.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday June 12, @08:33PM (2 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @08:33PM (#692093) Journal

        I imagine there's a lot of people impressed worldwide with the Chinese government's ability to just do stuff: build high speed rail systems, build vast numbers of renewable energy power generators, put people in space, make new cities, build a developed world economy - just like that.

        There's more than one worm in that apple, actually. The new cities they have built mostly sit empty, immediately falling down because of shoddy construction and lack of demand. The industrial capacity has come at enormous environmental and human cost (pollution in China is epic). The Three Gorges dam did the equivalent of wiping out a national treasure on the scale of the Grand Canyon. It's all according to the same approach taken during the Great Leap Forward.

        Little of that is covered in the MSM in the West because China doesn't want people to know about it and because it's more useful to the power-elites in the West to variously portray China as a benign trading power or as a monolithic threat to replace the old Soviet Union.

        To put it in Maoist terms, China as a rising power is one with clay feet.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @02:20AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @02:20AM (#692192)

          What empty cities would they be? It's just as untrue as the interesting times quote, but everyone still believes both.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @01:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @01:52PM (#692328)

            The empty cities are real. Don't be a lazy null. google it.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @07:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @07:44PM (#692078)

      This is exactly what facetwit is doing in the rest of the world. And the clueless horde is cheering on.

  • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Tuesday June 12, @06:54PM

    by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 12, @06:54PM (#692050) Journal

    China is censoring political dissent, they should be ashamed. But what's this?

    pornography banned, [...] obscenity, [...] appearing shirtless, [...] dancing

    Why, this is an outrage! @RealDonaldTrump the time has come to press The Button

    Hold on... metcn.com still exists. This is probably fake news.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @11:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, @11:13PM (#692140)

    But we have to eliminate the ISP to usurp the tyrants. Until we do, there is no hope for a truly free internet.

  • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Wednesday June 13, @01:26AM

    by pdfernhout (5984) on Wednesday June 13, @01:26AM (#692185) Homepage

    https://web.archive.org/web/20130514103318/http://pcast.ideascale.com/a/dtd/-The-need-for-FOSS-intelligence-tools-for-sensemaking-etc.-/76207-8319 [archive.org]
    "This suggestion is about how civilians could benefit by have access to the sorts of "sensemaking" tools the intelligence community (as well as corporations) aspire to have, in order to design more joyful, secure, and healthy civilian communities (including through creating a more sustainable and resilient open manufacturing infrastructure for such communities). It outlines (including at a linked elaboration) why the intelligence community should consider funding the creation of such free and open source software (FOSS) "dual use" intelligence applications as a way to reduce global tensions through increased local prosperity, health, and with intrinsic mutual security. ... Now, there are many people out there (including computer scientists) who may raise legitimate concerns about privacy or other important issues in regards to any system that can support the intelligence community (as well as civilian needs). As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for some healthy mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, improved local subsistence, etc., all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete."

    --
    The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @01:38AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, @01:38AM (#692186)

    It's not censorship, it's a curated feed! With all the right opinions and talking points a model citizen will need to keep up with in the latest current year direction!
    Don't be that ignorant old person, be hip with the latest approved points of views, today!

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