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Posts Tagged ‘censorship

This article is about how people in Syria which could face civil war any moment make use of the Internet, despite threats. While it is quite difficult to find positivity in this whole matter, something small still helps.

Citizen journalism has been criticised at times for its inaccuracy, fear mongering, and biased opinions. However, in this case, I’m inclined to believe in the bravery of the Syrian people who forge on and feel a duty to report on events that are tearing their country apart.

While it can be said that the citizens who do that could be blogging out of self-interest (e.g. to get help for themselves, to stir trouble, etc), I’m sure that there are also those who just want to give their country a voice. History has unfortunately shown that countries in need sometimes get overlooked in the wake of newer issues, so I suppose this is also a way of ensuring that Syria is not forgotten.

These few phrases I feel, have described perfectly the situation:

Yet despite all safety concerns, thousands of Syrians citizens today have found a voice.

“A major role citizen journalism is playing is that it is magnifying the dispossession and despair of those who cannot speak,” said sociologist Samir Khalaf, professor at the American University of Beirut.

“Who is going to speak on behalf of those who are bereft of speech? This is where citizen journalism comes in… in an uprising that is all about citizenship.”

(Source: Middle East Online)

Saw this article which struck me as amusing at first, then provoked a couple of thoughts.

Firstly, as one of the world’s most censored country, China organising a large-scale online activity made me look twice at the headlines. The basic principle of the Internet is a sphere whereby information is freely exchanged. This article made me wonder if China, as one of the rising global powers, has enough clout and determination to re-make the Internet, Chinese stye.

Secondly, it gives rise to another question: Is China loosening up its strict policies and taking a more ‘Westernised’ approach towards the Internet (and dare I mention, freedom of speech)?

While the Internet is a bane and boon for netizens and people/organisations/governments with reason for hiding certain information respectively, it cannot be denied that the strength of the World Wide Web lies in its ability to disseminate data.

As noted in the article, the various Chinese websites participating in the online activities are pro-Communist Party. Hence, so far it appears that the degree China is willing to go only extends to news organisations which are sure to support its views.

However, as some optimists are wrought to believe, China is finally opening up.

What do people think? (:

(Source: People’s Daily Online)