41% Of Websites In China Disappeared Over The Last Year

from the interesting-timing dept

Just as we hear the Chinese government claim credit for cracking down on infringement online, comes the news that there are 41% fewer websites in China than a year earlier. It's not difficult to suspect censorship going on here, but, of course, the Chinese government says it's got nothing to do with it, claiming that China has a "high level of freedom of online speech." We're guessing the statement wasn't meant as a joke, even if it is one in real life. But China can defend these actions by pointing to efforts in Western nations, such as the US, to put in place laws that will allow the US to censor websites as well.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    cc (profile), Jul 15th, 2011 @ 2:34pm

    A bleak reminder of our future. In a few years, TechDirt will be censored for "encouraging dissent" against the copyright masters.

     

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    Hulser (profile), Jul 15th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Polls

    It's not difficult to suspect censorship going on here, but, of course, the Chinese government says it's got nothing to do with it, claiming that China has a "high level of freedom of online speech."

    Do organizations ever do polls on whether people actually believe shit like this? Sure, it's blatantly obvious to even the casual (outside) observer that China is full of shit, but it'd be interesting to see actual numbers. Western media is so caught up in the impractical ideal of objectivity, that they never actually call anyone out on these outrageous claims. Fine then. Do some polls to get confirmation of what people think. Hell, we have polls on completely stupid stuff like whether Casey Anthony is really guilty and...uh, presidential elections. Why not something important like giving the media permission to tell us the truth?

    Bah! This makes me mad. I'm going back to the Slater/Monkey thread to lighten my mood.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    So I wonder how many of the sites were porn or infringing or both? Interesting that there was also a 79% increase in web pages.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

      Re:

      "Interesting that there was also a 79% increase in web pages"

      Given the fact that the number of websites tends to grow exponentially, that's not so surprising. But you still have the problem of deciding exactly what a "website" is. Is your social network profile page a website, for example?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Chinese websites have a tendency to be loaded with viruses anyway, and many hacking attempts come out of China. I stay away, as best I can, from China-based sites. Reviewing my firewall logs often reveals a number of invasion attempts that end in .cn .

     

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      abc gum, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 4:46am

      Re:

      "Chinese websites have a tendency to be loaded with viruses anyway"

      Extra credit:
      To which logical fallacy does this statement belong?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2011 @ 5:44am

    If the implication here is that the Chinese government is taking down the sites, it's not hard to imagine situations where that might not be the case. Suppose the government announces a new list of verboten subjects, increased monitoring, stricter enforcement, harsher penalties, and different application of the rules (e.g. no "safe harbor" provisions for sites with any sort of public discussion capability). I don't know which if any of these the Chinese government has done but it seems very plausible. It's not hard to imagine that some website operators in China, those doing their best to run respectable and useful websites to serve the Chinese public while operating within the law, might react to announcements like this from the government by deciding it's no longer worth the risk, no longer worth the hassle, and taking down their websites. And the Chinese government can say that they didn't take down the websites, which is more or less truthful even though it was their policies that made the website operators decide to take them down.

     

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