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Again About Censorship in Chinese Internet

Today I came across a rare category of research online space. Much of this kind of work for a very narrow issue and gives little idea of ​​how the whole is arranged or that the Internet community. In today's Tehnosrede will talk about the most important "technology" of the Internet - censorship - in relation to its Chinese segment. The quotes here emphasize the fact that we have in mind the social technology of forming the society (or the contrary, it prevents the changes). 

Article Harvard researchers entitled "How China censors allow criticism of the government, but drowns out the collective action" . Chinese Internet because of the language barrier to a large extent - terra incognita, and it is useful to say a few words about how it differs from Western and Russian (which are generally organized in a similar way). 

Perhaps the main difference between China in the fact that in comparison with the centralized Western model, in which the vast majority of "space" occupied by only a few of the sample giants Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal, or VKontakte, the Chinese Internet contains a huge number of medium and small sites, a significant portion of the are also regional. Major national sites in China, also exist. This is primarily,, voc, bbs.m4, and tianya.At the same time publishes 59% of all posts, and tianya only 3%.Given the enormous absolute numbers in China, even medium or small regional site attracts a fairly large number of audiences. 

At each of the sites are working censors. On some runs until 1000. In addition, there are 20-50 thousand "Internet police" and 250-300 thousand "pyatidesyatikopeechnyh members of the party" (as translated wumao dang), which can also run on the central government and to engage in censorship.And then the question arises: which of these people censor, who is a moderator, and what's the difference between the moderators of Western and Russian and Chinese websites "censors"? This article is silent on the issue. 

What kind of censorship exists in China? First of all, in this country are blocked by most major Western websites. In China, in general, Facebook is not available (but it works its Chinese analogue RenRen), Twitter (but there is a Chinese analogue Sina Weibo). In the general case - because there are simple technologies to circumvent government blocks those sites. China has also banned pornography on the Internet, and sites with pornographic content are closed or blocked (if they are outside of China). In addition, there are filters on the forbidden word, which, however, quite easy to get around due to peculiarities of the Chinese language. Quite a different character can be read in exactly the same as the forbidden word, and it suffices to replace the blocked character in the same reading is similar to the filter did not work. The same simple method, by the way, is used in the west and the Russian Internet: to bypass filters use similar-sounding words. 

Finally, there is actually censor posts that are read by the censors (or moderators) and removed. The basic technique of researchers from Harvard and was in the fact that they collected in real-time positions, and then keep track of which ones will be deleted by the censor. Incidentally, this is easy to identify in the Chinese internet: the censors left there an entry on the site of a remote office (which makes them even more with the moderators in other countries). 

It is believed that the Chinese censors cruelly suppress any criticism of the government and the Communist Party. The study, however, say quite another.On average, removed 13% of all posts, if you take them out depending on the subject. It was found that the positions critical of the government removed not more than any other. The main target of Chinese censors (or moderators) is not criticism of the government and ... office, containing reasons, or calls for mass action. 

This is the main goal of the Chinese censors, according to the article. The other two categories of positions that have caused removal, were censors criticism / moderators and pornography. From this the authors conclude that the strategy of the Chinese Government on the Internet - do not spread to mass protests. 

Given the wave of the "orange" and other "color" revolutions, this strategy is understandable. It is easy to see that it applies not only in China. So, we have described in Figures social technology aimed not at suppressing dissent (as was done in the USSR), and the neutralization of mass expression. The authorities are afraid, "the street", and since the Tiananmen is, admittedly, grown wiser.

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