Chinese City Outlaws Online Satire

from the and-they-say-satire-is-dead dept

If there’s one thing the internet is good at, it’s providing a place for people to create and distribute satire. From The Onion to all of the satirical videos on YouTube, it’s become difficult to avoid satire online. Of course, satire is sometimes difficult for those being satirized to understand. Actually, it’s difficult for plenty of people to understand — especially online where most browsers still don’t recognize HTML tags for satire. It appears that one Chinese city has decided that it needs to do something about it, and will be cracking down on the scourge of online satire. It’s officially an “online defamation” law, but it includes a prohibition on online videos designed “to satirize others or social phenomena.” Of course, some in China are no stranger to falling on the wrong side of satire. A few years ago, the Beijing Evening News reported a story from The Onion as if it were true. Perhaps when you have enough gullible people in power, satire is unnecessary.

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