China Praised UK Internet CensorshipOne would know that their online censorship plan is too strict when China praises them for it. A few weeks ago, if someone saw a headline like that, they would think the author was insane, but it’s nothing but the truth.
A few days ago, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron claimed he wanted to stop citizens from communicating on social media if it is used to instigate violence. Today the majority of industry observers interpret this as meaning that the PM suggests to block social media sites altogether whenever civil unrest is suspected.
Unsurprisingly, blocking social media has caused lively debate, particularly in the United Kingdom. Today the discussions around possibly censoring the web have received international attention, which includes China. Today Chinese state media site “Global Times” suggested that “Western” countries were coming to realize that free speech couldn’t go unhindered online. It also said that the UK government’s wariness of the Internet and Blackberry Messenger, which are symbols of freedom of speech, was a forced reaction, which might have upset the Western world. However, the open discussion of containment of the web in UK had given rise to another opportunity for the entire world. Media in the United States and United Kingdom earlier criticized developing countries for curbing freedom of speech, but the new attitude of the UK would hopefully help appease the quarrels over the future management of the worldwide web.
Meanwhile, the Chinese advocates of an unlimited development of the web are recommended to think twice about their original ideas, because there are a lot of posts and articles inciting public violence online, which could cause tremendous damage when tweeted without control. In this case, the governments would have the only choice to shut down those sites and arrest the agitators.
The “Western” part of the world, however, believes that the UK Prime Minister should think twice how he is going to prevent rioting. Of course, any move to crack down on rioters will receive no resistance but help and support. At the same time, the attempts to control the web in any way are an extremely slippery slope with respect to free speech. In other words, there should be difference between Cameron’s policy and China’s policy at the very least.