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WSJ on Chinese censorship

The Wall Street Journal has an article by Geoffrey A. Fowler and Mei Fong on China’s new restrictions on Internet use, especially blogging. It’s grim.

In the second to last paragraph they have a sentence that I think perfectly defines a divide in thought present not just in China:

The government says it hopes the new rules will make online news more reliable by phasing out small and unauthorized cyber-news publishers.

My first reaction was to laugh. Then I realized the “Blogs are reporters without editors [sotto voce] and without responsibility, good hygiene or their own apartments” crowd believes that blogs overall decrease the accuracy and utility of available information. The big difference is, of course, that when people here say that, they’re generally tut-tutting, not suggesting the blogosphere be censored. And while our government may be monitoring the content of Internet traffic, it at least has the courtesy to do so behind our backs.

(By the way, this must be a first: An article on Chinese Internet censorship that doesn’t mention the Berkman study on the topic and that doesn’t quote Rebecca!) [Tags: ]

Here’s Rebecca’s take

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