How much freedom of speech do Chinese netizens have?

Publié le par XIONG Peiyun



On the blog "La République des Esprits," columnist Xiong Peiyun writes:

How much freedom of speech do Chinese netizens have? Is there protection for freedoms already obtained? The fate of comments on the Netease Review boards can provide us with proof. On 18 June, 2007, Xiong Peiyun's Southern Metropolis Daily column "How is it that there have been no resignations over the illegal kiln affair?" was republished by Netease as the lead story on its commentary channel. From 8:30 am until 1:00 pm, comments accumulated to 59 pages. To insure that the original post was not axed, the Netease editors had no choice but to carefully prune so-called extreme or sensitive comments - for Big Brother is watching you! So there was quite a large difference between the true number of Netease comments and the total displayed. For example, at 11:48:31, the ratio of displayed comments to total comments was 425:911; that is, at that time, netizens had 46.7% freedom of speech - they'd been docked 53.3%. As comments and deletions continued unabated, this docking rate would rise and fall like an EKG.

By about 4:00 pm, all comments had been deleted, the comment total was 0, and the comment function was closed - just like a case of cardiac arrest. It's easy to see that this kind of freedom that can be revoked at any time is not true freedom, not guaranteed freedom.

Publié dans Notes 思想国纪事

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