Cracks in the Great Firewall of China
Slashdot.org had a brief story this morning about pro-Google comments of Chinese Web users that were carried on the ChinaSMACK web site.
ChinaSMACK was registered in June 2008 by a California-based proxy service and it has a lot of friends:
It hosts a lot of pro-Chinese government comments, but a few interesting critical ones as well. Some shed a little light on Chinese government censorship methods:
— “I just know that on this piece of land that is the mainland, any media company, whether internet or newspaper, cannot be independent, because the Party manages the media.”
— “Many Chinese netizen comments have been deleted or hidden and most comments that remain visible clearly support the government or are critical of Google. You can see this in the translated comments from NetEase above.”
“On KDS, a popular Shanghai BBS discussion forum, I was able to find some comments in support of Google or critical of the government before they were deleted. KDS moderators first deleted posts with many replies before deleting the smaller posts with fewer replies. Many posts were deleted while I was still collecting comments from them.”
— “First, I don’t believe what the ZF (government) says, and this has nothing to do with whether or not I like Google, it only relates the ZF’s behavior. Next, I like Google, because the value of their first page of information [search results] is higher than Baidu. I am a consumer, don’t care about whatever dog fart politics, nor would I think of everything from a political perspective, but from a consumer’s perspective, I like Google, and no longer having Google I think is really regrettable.”
— “There are only two types of people who will be happy: 1, wumao, 2, Baidu.” (ed. Note: “wumao” are government employees who are paid a small sum for each pro-government comment they post on line. Baidu is China’s biggest search site.)
— “Wumao wishes Google would make a row every month.
1. Always material to write about.
2. “Fees” have caps and are disbursed monthly, benefits can be maximized.
3. If a LAN is really established, then many people will probably lose this job.”
There is a rather interesting (and very scatological) cartoon on the site as well that comments (and we’re really generalizing here) on the fact that Google could no longer accept the humiliation of Chinese censorship and “left the table,” but other search sites “stayed at the table.”
Slashdot story here.