Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Global Times Says China's Online Political Discussions "The Liveliest on the Planet"

On December 6, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an op-ed entitled “Internet Freedom Rankings Biased” (中国网络自由排倒三,这排名得多烂). Some excerpts:
The year 2014 saw the state of global Internet freedom declining for the fourth consecutive year, with China, Iran and Syrian rated as the world's worst abusers of Internet freedom, according to an annual report from the US-based human rights organization Freedom House.
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It is another bizarre ranking by a Western organization that attempts to defame China.
. . . .
What is the truth? About 600 million Chinese Net users made China the largest netizen group in the world. China has bred superb Internet companies like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, and generated the liveliest online discussions on politics. We do not know how those impressive figures and achievements can be attained without basic Internet freedom.  
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那么事实是什么呢?它是中国有全球最大规模的6亿多网民,中国诞生了BAT这样全球超一流的互联网公司,中国互联网上的政治讨论也是全球互联网大国中最活跃的 [Translation: “Online political discussions on China’s Internet are also the most lively on the planet of all major Internet countries.”],等等。我们不知道如果没有网络自由,这些响当当的数据和成就都是如何从天上掉下来的。我们同样不知道那些骂中国“全球最不自由”的人中,有谁买了阿里巴巴的股票,有谁用了腾讯的微信,又有谁在新浪的微博中注册过马甲,潜水发表过言论。
The Freedom House report is available here -

These screenshots were taken on December 21, 2014, and show that Baidu tells users of its PRC-based search engine that it cannot find a single result for any web pages on the domain. Baidu tells users of its Thailand and Brazil based search engines (which are blocked in China) that it can locate 2,980 pages on that same domain.

This blog has previously shown that Baidu has banned users from establishing forums to discuss issues including “Politics,” “Freedom of Speech,” and “Rights.”

These screenshots were taken on December 21, 2014, and show that Baidu has banned users from establishing a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum about “Freedom,” but appears prepared to allow users of its Thailand and Brazil based services to set up PostBars forums to discuss that topic.

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