China Censorship Update: 9/25/17

My updates are becoming bi-weekly, which is fine, I think. We’re getting close to the People’s Congress, so more news about censorship is getting picked up by Western media and discussed in broader terms than normal.

General Censorship

Internet Sovereignty

  • Facebook Navigates an Internet Fractured by Governmental Controls (New York Times)
    • The Chinese government loves seeing stories like this. It proves that if Western tech companies are willing to change how they operate in markets like Vietnam and the EU, they will eventually bend to the parameters of the Great Firewall. All the while showing that freedom of speech isn’t important to making money.
  • China extends rule of law on Internet (Global Times)
    • As Internet censorship gets discussed more widely by the Chinese government, be aware of frequent use of phrases relating to cybersecurity law, rule of law and internet sovereignty. These will be the defining rationales for blocking content, arresting people that distribute VPNs and infringe on overall internet usage.
  • How Facebook is Changing Your Internet (New York Times)
    • This doesn’t have to do with internet censorship or internet sovereignty sovereignty so much as the continued balkanization of internet spaces. Why does the Chinese government need censor the internet when people are doing it to themselves?


  • China Communist Party Youth Twitter account prompts abuse (BBC)
    • Despite the lack of access for all Chinese citizens, many government-controlled websites often use blocked sites like Twitter and Facebook to spread news (The People’s Daily, Global Times and have their own Twitter account and Facebook “like” buttons embedded). The irony of the Communist Youth League on Twitter was not lost on Chinese-speaking netizens.

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