China Discovers It Can't Block All Online Talk Of Contaminated Milk

from the you-can't-control-everything dept

China, of course, is famous for using its “Great Firewall” to block certain unflattering news from being spread among the population there, but it can’t block everything, and people seem to be fighting back in some cases. Last week, as news spread about contaminated milk poisoning thousands, and killing at least three babies, angry Chinese citizens went online to express their displeasure — and, even worse, they’ve gone on the attack against popular search engine Baidu, which was accused of blocking access to any news about the tainted milk (the company denies it blocked access to such news). There have been a series of stories recently trying to paint the Great Firewall in a nicer light, often with quotes from Chinese citizens about how they appreciate their government watching out for them. But with more stories like this coming out, it sounds like there are plenty of people who are quite frustrated with the attempts at blocking any unfavorable news.

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Comments on “China Discovers It Can't Block All Online Talk Of Contaminated Milk”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Remember the saying;

“”Russians don’t believe their governments propaganda, Americans do”. I think the same may be true here.”
I just want to know whether all the Americans believe what their goverments propaganda.The war,invading exactly, in Iraq and Afghanistan, even the economic crisis,what are the truth and the results of these?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The freest market

“Ah, but in a free market, media outlits would exist who wouldn’t get bought out (And would therefore get more customers)”

But then, in a truly free market, the milk industry can buy out government and make it illegal to criticize the milk industry, as they have done in Texas. In the USA’s case, the Oprah Winfery show cancelled an episode on the food industry after the Texas government filed criminal charges against the show.

So does Mike support free markets, or does he believe in socialism?

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 The freest market

Mike opposes any and all forms of market regulation, doesn’t he? Free markets are somehow supposed to solve all of the world’s problems.

Just to clarify if anyone actually believe Dorpus (please don’t, he’s a notorious troll), I don’t oppose any and all forms of market regulation. I simply believe that if you are going to have market regulation, you need to show what the market failure is that requires it.

And, it’s positively ridiculous to claim that supporting the free market means that lying, cheating, hiding news and information or anything of the sort is okay. That shows a distinct lack of understanding of a true free market.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The freest market

“In a truly free market economy”

If we as a reasoned, civilized people have learned anything over the last 30 years, it has to be that “truly free markets” simply dont work. We can now know this for sure, because with the socialization of the world financial markets, there are no more totaly free markets left on the planet . . . anywhere (socialist is the new capitalist). America is now an admittedly socialist country, where the US taxpayer is the worlds largest insurer and holds a majority interest in the worlds largest investment bank.

Tony (user link) says:

Re: Re: The freest market

“If we as a reasoned, civilized people have learned anything over the last 30 years, it has to be that “truly free markets” simply dont work.”

Given that we have never actually seen a “truly free market” in action, I would say it would be quite unreasonable to say that they don’t work.

J.Locke says:

Re: Re: Re: The freest market

“Given that we have never actually seen a “truly free market” in action, I would say it would be quite unreasonable to say that they don’t work.”

Man needs certain civilized codified laws in order to trust and invest of himself willingly in a society. He also needs some guarantee of the fair and just application of these laws in order to feel a “moral attachment” to that society (and some sense of “greater consultation” in their creation). These things create a stable society. Financial markets require the same things in order to be reasonably stable markets. If the financial markets are not at least reasonably stable, that “moral attachment” to the financial system disappears as does the attachment to the greater society at large.

Ridgerunner says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The freest market


Your point, while accurate (some regulations is a *good* thing), has nothing to do with Tony’s assertion.

Logically, Anonymous Coward cannot say that “truly free markets simply don’t work”, since a truly free market does not exist (and to your point, probably *should* not for societal reasons). If it hasn’t been tested, it can’t be generalized to be a failure..

Anonymous Coward #42 says:

Information, be free!!!

Censorship is all fine and well, as long as everyone can agree on what should and should not be censored. The problem is that that scenario only exists in a Utopian world where everybody gets along. No level of censorship, in reality, is acceptable to all parties involved. If you want to personally censor your own information intake, that’s your business, but when you attempt to censor information for the masses, you’re just asking for trouble.

Kyle Brady (profile) says:

"appreciate their government watching out for them"?


And I bet that’s along the same lines of all the hand-picked smiling seatfillers at the Olympics, or the party-line PR-sneezing government officials who would only say obscure things like “the Chinese people are proud to host the Olympics” when asked about something like Tibet.


DrLaw (user link) says:

What they don't know CAN hurt them

The people of China are finally realizing that those in power might not actually have their best interests in heart, and it’s understandably very upsetting. Here’s a crazy idea, why don’t we NOT poison our own citizens?

The worst part is that worried parents searching the internet for clues as to what is going on could actually save their child’s life with the information presented in an “open” internet, but the government is exacerbating their own problem by keeping this information from the people.

Tony (user link) says:

Re: Re: What they don't know CAN hurt them

Just as the Obama supporters are equally as unaware that he doesn’t have their best interests at heart.

But isn’t that the typical response – if someone disagrees with you politically, they must be stupid. There is absolutely NO possibility that intelligent, rational people can come to different positions on a political issue – or support different candidates.

You know, that might be true – I don’t see very much evidence of intelligent, rational people engaging in political debate anymore.

Anonymous of Course says:

What I want to know...

Was the news of pets in the US and Canada dying
last year from Chinese supplied gluten adulterated
with the same chemical reported in China?

Would the milk producers have knowingly adulterated
their product with a chemical that is a demonstrated

Does censorship has unintended consequences?

XS (profile) says:

Re: What I want to know...

You guessed right. The problem is with the same chemical, used by these criminally irresponsible people to increase the test number for protein levels.

From the various reports available in China, it appears that it’s not the milk producers that are doing this, but the intermediaries who buy milk from small farmers, then resell in bulk to the large milk producers. The large producers don’t test for this chemical for two reasons: One, it’s not on the list of chemicals to check for, just as FDA didn’t think about checking for it either; and two, these criminals bribed the milk producer’s purchase agents and quality check people to ensure that their “milk” will be bought and not checked.

Ridgerunner says:

Re: Re: Nick Stamoulis

Ummm… MCS…

Do you have some magic reading glasses or something? I’ve re-read Nick’s original post a few times, and nowhere does he suggest (nor anyone else in this comment thread) that “Americans think they can _run_ other countries”.

It’s a grown-up world. America gets criticized for it’s public as well as political behavior daily. Nobody but the fringe asserts that is another country’s attempt to “run” us. Similarly, people in this country have the privilege of expressing their thoughts and views about other nations behavior.

Better still, we get to do the same about our OWN country.

Try that in China.

Antoine Clarke says:

Socialism is for dummies

Dead customers don’t make repeat orders, which is why even crack dealers don’t deliberately sell lethal dosages.

Customers who’ve been lied to don’t make repeat orders, unless they’re voters. 😉

And in a true free market, there wouldn’t be any one government (just private firms touting services). So exactly how a small number of milk producers is supposed to be able to prevent the majority of them, and all consumer advocates, and all customers, from communicating beats me.

Whereas under “socialism,” you only need to bribe/con/make friends with/blackmail President Obama’s agriculture adviser and anyone who dissents is killed or sent to a re-education camp.

“Free markets are somehow supposed to solve all of the world’s problems.” Well, yes, provided there are people willing to pay for a solution. Whereas socialism means exterminating millions of people to create a utopia, and failing because people aren’t ants.

Thomas Gou says:

Ummmm…..I have to say this “news” is not true.The fact is ,Chinese central government is not trying to block this accident. Why western guys always think Chinese government is evil? Strange…Maybe our political system is much better than yours because we’ll be the example that a big country don’t need to invade or colonize other country for becoming a strong and rich country. We’ll see..especially after this economy disaster.

blueraincoat says:


There’s no blocking about the poison milk in China, every media is talking about it not only online news but also traditional medias such as newspaper and TV, the government is doing everything to keep it transparent. I’m living in China, and I read, I talk with others, I know how this things going.
The you-can’t-control-everything dept is lying. I would say to them, YOU CAN’T WREST EVERYTHING!

walter says:


I guess that was why you decided to get to the moon when you where getting your asses kicked in Vietnam, and that is why Bush is launching the initiative to get to the moon again… But the “Bad News” that need to be covered this time can be meassured when you take into account that he is launching a program to get to Mars.
I guess that with your boosting economy and the succesfull war in the middle east we can expect you achieve those goals in about a year or so.

Anonymous Coward says:

As long as people perceive the achievements of other nations as a threat, the governments will continue to oppress them, like they do, for the past 8 years in the US.

“Russians don’t believe their governments propaganda, Americans do”. I think the same may be true here.” – this is brilliant, thank you.

Here is America, half of the population sincerely believes that god created the Earth from clay, and then Eve was cloned from Adam’t stem cells. These people are easily brainwashed into believing into anything and can be sent to Iraq or easily swindled out of their money by the Wall Street.
There are a lot of creative and talented people too – they invented the iPhone, Internet, landed on the Moon, sequenced human genome, etc. – everything the USA and Humanity can be proud of. This is largely thanks to the JF Kennedy’s policies to boost education and science, in order to beat the Russians. Remember, there were a lot of people in America who were against the War.
Unfortunately, the religious right/concervative/homofobic/gun-loving/violent part has a lot of political power and can win elections. They elected Bush because he is “just like them” (basically, a moron). The scary part is that from their childhood tens of millions of people value religion above school (science and art), and as a result, they can’t think critically.

That is the situation,

Congratulations to China on the spacewalk! Lets hope China scares the White House, just like the SPITNIK did, and they will realize once again that America is not the “chosen one”.

Math teacher says:


Dear Antoine Clarke,

you are right about the dangers of the socialism, corruption and bribing the politicians. However, capitalism itself does not prevent corruption from happening.
Isn’t Bush’s government the most corrupt one? They channeled hundreds of billions to the weapons and oil industries. If milk can be tested by the consumers, how are you supposed to test an 11bn aircraft carrier? Or a secret program, like prisons in other countries? The recent financial crisis is another glaring example how a handful of CEOs and lax (“free capitalism”) regulations can ruin the economy.

Finally, McCain’s talk about the economy fundamentals being strong, when referring to the quality of American worker, is extremely short-sighted. He may mean well, but, in his own words, senator McCain “does not understand” that we are not competitive any longer. We are outsourcing hardware, software, chemistry, even medical diagnostics. The leadership in tech areas is disappearing, what “american worker” is he talking about – mortgage brokers?! Our farmers rely on Mexican hands! Only the government – that is the “socialism” – can support education and expensive scientific breakthroughs, without which leadership is not possible.
Who will prepare millions of new scientists and engineers? Mike Haccabee’s sunday schools with emphasis on art?

McCain’s idea to freeze government programs – even temporarily – is very dangerous and will cause immense damage – more than a terrorist blowing up a teaching hospital or a single research lab working on an abstract and “useless” thing like mathematical modeling of hurricanes. How can you “temporarily freeze”, which means FIRE tens of thousands of uniquely skilled technicians, scientists, students? He doesn’t understand this because he himself never liked school and his education was in boozing and chasing girls. (He got himself a rich one!) When he talks about $3m “wasted” on DNA research, he better recall the combined cost of the airplanes he personally crashed ($50m, 100?). He may be a good guy deep inside, but being a looser of Vietnam War, he desperately wants to win something. Therefore, he is more dangerous than Bush.

Antoine Clarke (user link) says:

Re: Socialism

Maths Teacher,
I can accept much of what you say, and your criticism of American conservatives could be added to. McCain was right about the surge in Iraq (which might not work in Afghanistan), but that’s merely a fix for bigger mistakes.

I have no particular reason to advise Americans to vote for John McCain, other than my suspicions about ACORN.

Unless ACORN registered me to vote against my will, given I’m not a US citizen, I don’t have a vote.

If the SEC, the Federal Reserve and the Clinton/Bush subsidy of mortgages for election reasons (Freddie Mac/Fanniw Mae) have anything to do with free markets, please explain. I refer you to Jesus Huerta de Soto for a capitalist criticism of the mess we’re in. Fractional reserve banking is certainly part of the problem, but this can only persist with GOVERNMENT guarantees. If you support scrapping this, then I’m with you.

When I refer to capitalism, I do not mean the corporatist set-up where a government favors its cronies. Capitalism is the economic way (voluntary exchange) of doing things, not the political. The political way is to force most people to pay for your preferences. Apart from corruption, there is a problem of how to avoid mistakes from becoming magnified: imagine if the Iraq war could only be funded by voluntary donations? Do you think we’d be worse off?

Say you want everyone in the third world to have clean drinking water? You pay for it, or find people willing to join you in paying for it. If I trust you, I’ll put some money in. More later if I see results. It may be less spectacular than the GodPresident decreeing “the end of poverty,” but it gets things done. Sustainably, because you don’t to go back to Congress to ask for an upgrade in 10 years time, and you don’t turn up with 5 million miles of pipes and no one to install them. (A real example: the UN currently has a program giving free drugs to people in Cameroon for buruli ulcer, but the people who need them can’t afford to stop working for the duration of the treatment, and some can’t travel to the distribution sites, classic planning error. I think you personally, with your friends and some sponsorship, would do a better job.)

I believe Jimmy Carter has done far, far, more for humanity with his nailing prefab houses together than he did as President, where I thought he was frankly, out of his depth. Good for him.

Bailing out crony banks is not capitalism, it’s corporate welfare, why should Goldman Sachs get it when conservatives oppose it for simgle mothers? McCain may not be as bad as Bush on this, but he’s not good enough either.

Matthew says:

Sounds from China,We know everything.

I am Chinese.Yes,it’s true some web sites were censored by THE GREAT WALL.But I can still visit 99% of the Internet.If I want to see 100%,i will use a proxy.So don’t be so mad of this,no one was brainwashed in China.
The Chinese government has no difference with the U.S government.No evils in China.if you think China is evil,congratulations,You are brainwashed by your government.
So why not be nice to Chinese and its government,give us some time.ROME IS NOT BUILD IN ONE DAY.
PS:May be,there are some sytax or spell error,I hope you can understand what i am talking about.

cn netizen says:

haha, i’m also happy to see what you guys thought blocked news everyday at sohu, baidu,news cn. You talked like that you are living in a paradise of totally freedom. THat’s why so many gunmen are free to shot in campus ?
Yes, there are many things yet to be imroved in China,but why on earth you guys always look at bad things of China?
Have China in anyway hampeed your interests?

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