Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Egypt's protests censored in Chinese Web

The current uprising in the Middle East particularly in Egypt has sent chills to the Chinese government who want to maintain "weiwang" or social stability such that it restricted access to online searches for "Egypt" on networking sites, according to VOA News.
The move is due to the government's apprehension that a similar rebellion could ignite in the most populous country in the world often criticized for its repressive governance.
If you search the Chinese word equivalent of "Egypt," it will return a message that says "the results cannot be displayed."
Sina.com PR officer said that it was not a company decision but merely obeying the country's laws.
It is interesting to know that US social media like Facebook and Twitter are already blocked in the country.
Jeremy Goldkorn of Danwei.org said, "I haven’t seen any instruction from any of the Chinese information control government bodies, but I think there must have been some instruction going out to news organizations and Web sites to only use official Xinhua copy about the events in Egypt and Tunisia, and to de-emphasize and cut down on netizens discussion about this."
Shi Yinhong of Renmin University agreed, "Above all, their (the Chinese government’s) first priority is to maintain social and political stability."
Zhu Feng from Peking University said that the online censorship about Egypt is a "preventative countermeasure."
Zhu added that the government is particularly worried because it is the Lunar New Year holiday period.
Details of this story here.

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