Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



China Doesn't Want People Talking About Egyptian Uprising Online

from the let's-just-leave-that-alone... dept

Whatever you think of how much impact social media has had on recent political uprisings and protests around the globe, it appears that many governments are worried about the impact. We've already seen how Egypt shut down the internet to try to slow down communication among protesters. And there's at least some sense of dominoes falling, with Egypt following Tunisia, and a few protests starting to show up in a few other countries around the Middle East.

It looks like China has decided not to risk being the next domino by having the various microblogging/social network sites in that country block any mention of Egypt. I do wonder how effective that move actually is. Once people realize it, won't that just make them wonder why, and make them more likely to seek out info on Egypt?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Steve (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Streisand effect not applicable?

    I get the idea of your last comment "Once people realize it, won't that just make them wonder why, and make them more likely to seek out info on Egypt?"... but isn't there a point where the news is so enormous that the repressive government is "better off" blocking the speech then hoping people wont seek it out on their own? In the case of Egypt, the story is so huge that no one could not help but notice it. It's not like people in China are going to only become aware of (and more interested in) these events because the news is being blocked. OK... maybe the blocking will make it more interesting to them but that would be offset by the inability of news getting to the average citizen. Or at least, that is what China is gambling on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Call it "Pharaohville" or something and maybe the filters won't catch it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Paul Hobbs (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Re:

    Why not Egipt? Or Ejypt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    A really good question

    How will Google work on this one in China?

    This should really test their tails...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    crade (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 3:56pm

    There might be a few people who realize it's missing but in general if they don't already know about it, how would they realize it's missing from the current news?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    Someone should hack a spam company, redirect it to China, and replace all of the "get huge boner" e-mails with ones that say "There is a revolution going on in Egypt and your government doesn't want you to know about it. I wonder why."

    I'm just kidding. That wold be illegal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Eugene (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 5:16pm

    What countries like China fail to realize, is that actions like this actually make it *more* difficult for them to monitor its citizens. By flagging specific keywords, you prompt those who create the keywords to invent new euphemisms you haven't thought of. You effectively direct them under your own radar.

    Consider, for example, how difficult it is to prosecute drug lords and leaders of organized crime. Since law enforcement has been so careful to flag any mention of illegal activity through suspected communications, criminals simply avoid those terms entirely. Catching someone red-handed in this manner is typically a monumental task.

    In contrast, look at how the U.S. at least feigns tolerance to anti-government groups within the country. Very little if any of their communications involve complex, obtuse euphemisms that make it impossible to take action. Often, these groups end up logging reams of publicly available incriminating evidence...were they to ever *actually* do anything stupid. But if they ever began to suspect their communications were being constantly flagged, you bet your fake eyelashes that those communications would start looking reeeal boring to the average viewer.

    I would not be surprised if China's conduct over the years has spawned an entire underground pseudolanguage of unflaggable, unmonitorable communications.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: A really good question

    "we are sorry but we refused to follow chinas demands in censorship, about the resent riots in egypt, so u removed access;
    consider the 'wisdom' of ur 'awesome' government and dont ask around"

    china shouldn't show their guns, when people dont care

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 6:58pm

    Re:

    spam inst known for its strong legal teams, they flee not fight

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    John D (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 8:30pm

    Re:

    It's like a You Don't Know Jack Gibberish Question

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    China have a lot of little riots in their hands most in the poor parts of China that nobody outside or even in the inside gets to know about it, so that is why they are concerned if somehow all those little peasants unity it would be a lot of people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 12:55am

    Egypt, what's that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Mateo Jose (profile), Feb 21st, 2011 @ 10:09pm

    A-MAZ-ING what is happening in the world today. Who knew that the Internet and Twitter would cause such upheavals? It is even more fascinating that these despotic leaders don't want their own people communicating with each other. From an oppressive leader's POV I can understand it, though! XD

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Mateo Jose (profile), Feb 21st, 2011 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Why not Egipt? Or Ejypt?

    Well for starters, "Egypt" is the English word for that country. And...Egyptians call the country "مصر"‎ in Arabic. Who even knows what the Chinese call it or how they write it. But yes, perhaps misspelling the name would help for any Engrish-speaking Chinese.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This