China’s internet censors might have blocked microblogging service Twitter, but since domestic services have taken over, the ghost is out of the bottle, tells internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn USA Today China’s Sina is offering a partly curtailed and closely monitored twitter-service, but it has not stopped its popularity.
China shut down Twitter access after it was used to transmit images and messages about riots against the government in western China. YouTube and several other social-networking sites remain blocked, too. But there are many sites that the “Great Firewall of China,” as it is widely known, has not impeded.
Even on those sites, there is “more debate and criticism by Chinese people than at anytime in history,” China Internet specialist Jeremy Goldkorn says.
“You’re seeing networks of people forming links outside the state, and this alarms the state, so they want to monitor microblogging closely,” says Goldkorn, whose Danwei website also was blocked in July. “The government is determined to control the discourse on the Internet, and is in a very censorious mode.”…
Beijing’s chief concern lies in the Internet’s power to mobilize, Goldkorn says. Despite the government’s efforts, “the genie is out of the bottle.”