Archive for June 14th, 2005

What’s Chinese for ‘Sockpuppet’?

Ni hao, comrades. If I ever got a job as a civil servant, this is the type of thing I could dig.

Assuming the article itself is not an exceedingly convoluted Maoist ruse, the Guardian reports today that The Chinese government is out to wrest control of the Internet:

the propaganda departments of provincial and municipal governments have recently been instructed to build teams of internet commentators, whose job is to guide discussion on public bulletin boards away from politically sensitive topics by posting opinions anonymously or under false names.

I’m tempted to draw parallels, but I’ll not bother.

Update: the BBC runs a story on Microsoft’s service restrictions on Chinese bloggers. It says:

Weblog entries on some parts of Microsoft’s MSN site in China using words such as “freedom”, “democracy” and “demonstration” are being blocked.

A Microserf says:

“Microsoft is a multi-national business and as such needs to manage the reality of operating in countries around the world”

Managing reality can be a tricky business these days. Necessity being the mother of invention, one wonders what difference blocking such words will make in the long run.

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