China’s internet might have the most elaborated filters and blocks in the world, information is freer and flowing faster than ever, tells Internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn to Jaime A. FlorCruz of CNN. As was illustrated by the case of the dismissal of Bo Xilai.
Jaime A. FlorCruz:
News of Lin Biao‘s death[A Chinese leader involved in a coup in 1971], allegedly in a plane crash, took months to emerge. The “ever victorious general” was labeled a traitor, accused of fleeing China en route to Mongolia after a failed coup.
Says Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei.com, a website and research firm that tracks the Chinese media and internet, “We know less about what really happened to Lin Biao than we do about the fall of Bo Xilai, and the Bo case isn’t over yet.”
This time, the Chinese government is also trying to contain the crisis, but it has become too big to control in ways they have done before.
“We live in the post Wikileaks age,” says Goldkorn. “China is no different from the rest of the world, except that many parts of its government have always been excessively secretive.”..
“With more than half a billion Internet users and websites like (Twitter-like) Weibo, information can spread nationwide in a few minutes,” says Goldkorn. “These trends are irreversible, barring a complete shutdown of the Chinese internet, which may be possible but is very unlikely.”…
Notes Goldkorn: “A certain amount of negative commentary on Bo has been allowed to circulate on the internet and, according to some commentators, some of these gossip, stories and rumors about Bo actually originated from people inside the central government.”
- China’s internet “freer than ever” – Jeremy Goldkorn (chinaherald.net)
- Unprecedented online chatter on Bo Xilai – Jeremy Goldkorn (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- A more subtle management of internet censorship – Jeremy Goldkorn (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- New rules won’t kill weibo – Jeremy Goldkorn (chinaherald.net)