Monday, March 12, 2012

Government filtering or self filtering

As I read “The Daily Me,” I was thinking a lot about the internet filtering in China. It’s not a secret that the government of China has a longstanding set of policies restricting citizens’ exposure to information. I remember I have learnt that media has the responsibility to tell the truth, but the Chinese government always attempted to prevent the spread of unwanted contents which disappointed Chinese people for a long time. I think it’s acceptable to block some organizations’ websites which intentionally spread malicious information to citizens, but people should have rights to use social networks, video sharing services and blogs.
It’s amazing to know that more than 2600 websites are blocked in China under the censorship. ('s_Republic_of_China ) I have no idea why they block those social networks and even the Google Documents. I really have good online learning experiences with Facebook groups, blogs and Google documents, but these could never be used when I back to China.

This quote from The Daily Me, “filtering is inevitable, a fact of life. It is as old as humanity itself. No one can see, hear, or read everything. With respect to the world of communications, moreover, a free society gives people a great deal of power to filter out unwanted materials. Only tyrannies force people to read or to watch.” As we know, technologies today give us the ability to filter what we want to read, see and hear. Do you think strict government filtering is necessary for today’s society? What do you think about the balance between government filtering and self filtering?

At the end, I want to share an interesting story about a Chinese famous video-sharing website, Youku. We can’t watch some of the videos on Youku in the Unites States. It just like we can’t watch videos on YouTube in China. Ironically, we can see the slogan of Youku is “The World is Watching,” but when we open an video here it said, “Sorry, this video can only be streamed within Mainland China.”

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