Author Archive | Jason Q. Ng

How China Actually Gets the Internet to Censor Itself

Sina WeiboThank to Disinfo for highlighting my blocked words project, Blocked on Weibo, in your post “The Most Censored Words On The Chinese Internet.” However, there are a few misconceptions that one could take away from the article which I’d like to correct. First, these are words that are blocked by one social media website (Sina Weibo); they are not blocked by the Chinese government, nor are the words listed blocked more or less frequently than other words. I cannot reiterate enough that my project does not set out to prove that top-down censorship by the government exists (though it does). The restrictions on searches on Weibo are cases of self-censorship by a private company that is very much encouraged (under the potential threat of having the company shut down or being sent to prison) to do so by the government. The hope with this project was to make it clear that censorship in China is a complex and nuanced issue, and in each blog entry I hope to provide the proper context for why a word is blocked.… Read the rest

Continue Reading