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85% of Chinese Citizens Like Internet Censorship

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the well-nevermind-then dept.

Censorship 609

cynagh0st writes "A Pew Internet & American Life Project report indicates that of an overwhelming majority of Chinese people that believed the Internet should be 'managed or controlled,' 85% want the government to do this managing. This is resulting from surveys on Internet use over the last seven years in China. 'The survey findings discussed here, drawn from a broad-based sample of urban Chinese Internet users and non-users alike, indicate a degree of comfort and even approval of the notion that the government authorities should control and manage the content available on the Internet.' The report goes further into describing the divide in perspective between China and Western Nations on the matter and discusses the PRC's justifications for Internet control."

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the other 15% (5, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403898)

are in jail

Re:the other 15% (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404026)

Well...they could have voted through postal voting [wikipedia.org]

Re:the other 15% (5, Insightful)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404074)

85% of Chinese Likes Censorship

That's not what they were asked because the Chinese government did not approve of the question. They were asked if they approved of government control. The two are very different, especially in a socialist state where the government controls everything.

In other news... (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404306)

Crest reports that 4 out of 5 dentists agree...

Unless they are older than 65... (5, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404552)

Unless the Chinese asked were older than 65, they are unlikely to even know what it's like without government "control". It's akin to asking a wild mustang if he likes horseshoes.

Re:the other 15% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404208)

No, They are not in jail. They are however responding very well to the electroshock therapy and strong drugs to help them adjust to society.

Re:the other 15% (4, Funny)

MindKata (957167) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404594)

"They are however responding very well to the electroshock therapy and strong drugs to help them adjust to society."

That's the news according to the Ministry of Love. However the Ministry of Truth has decided that in this case, 85% is the same as 100%. Therefore hence forth, all news needs to be written as 100% of Chinese Likes Censorship.

Your failure to recognise this has been reported to the Thought Police, and room 101 is being prepared for your arrival.

yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23403908)

What the article doesn't mention is the "visit" from an official shortly before the polling.

There's a very good joke in here.. (4, Funny)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403910)

Something like... "The chinese national news reports tonight that 85% of chinese citizens like censorship".

Re:There's a very good joke in here.. (1, Funny)

Pyrrhic Diarrhea (1061530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404442)

Yet another badly titled slashdot article... would be more accurately titled: 85% of Chines Rikes Censorship. Yes, sadly, mod down for me being a retard. :)

Re:There's a very good joke in here.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404608)

I would prefer a joke like...

The question on the survey read:

      Do you approve of the internet ********** provided by the government?

Look! (4, Insightful)

callocx (1223778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403916)

Look, a censored survey!

Re:Look! (4, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404050)

Yeah, I opened the .pdf and ended up going straight to the references which were overwhelmingly chinese. I noticed a reuters reference in there and that was in regards to a little nugget of information regarding rising popularity of videogames...

A report about the reliability of it's own references? This report would have to be taken with a block of salt.

Re:Look! (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404060)

If it had been censored, how would we be able to see it?

If this is legit, it may still be selection bias: probably a survey showing the opposite results would not be as newsworthy.

Real News (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23403926)

85% Chinese is afraid of the government.

Re:Real News (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404356)

It's not that simple. There are a fair amount of Chinese - both inside China and outside of China - who do not share my belief in the necessity of free speech. That's part of the reason why the Chinese government is still in place: according to a good chunk of the population, it's doing a good job. There are significant philosophical differences between China and the West (as nebulous a region as that is). This is one of them. Belittling them, dismissing them or otherwise ignoring them will not help in dealing with them. One of the biggest strength of the Chinese government right now is that it can leverage a massive and widespread feeling in the population that the West is treating China unfairly and more like a stupid dog than an equal nation. Then again, another useful item to keep in mind is that 0.1% of the population amounts to 1 million people. In other words, Chinese crackpots are about as big a group as certain European nations.

Re:Real News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404546)

If you grow up in that enviroment, and you don't have any way to inspect the larger world and evaluate your place it, is that kind of authoritarian control frighting? What if you're the kind of person who doesn't need to use government services intensively (have AIDS, flood destroyed home etc)? No. The Chinese people have not only exactly the government they want, but also (like the rest of us) the government they deserve.

42.5% of statistics (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23403932)

are made up.

Re:42.5% of statistics (1, Funny)

Poltras (680608) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404502)

42.5% of statistics are made up.
And 102.5% of them are just plain wrong.

Re:42.5% of statistics (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404610)

yeah, where's the control group?

Shock Horror Probe! (1, Redundant)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403938)

Survey of internet usage in heavily monitored society by outsider says all those inside "like" being monitored.

More at 11...

Gov (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23403940)

Bigger government and higher taxes are a good thing.

Accurate? (4, Insightful)

MiKM (752717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403942)

If I were living in China, I'd be wary (and probably afraid) of speaking out against gov't censorship and control of the Internet.

Re:Accurate? (1)

aleph42 (1082389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404188)

If I were living in China, I'd be wary (and probably afraid) of speaking out against gov't censorship and control of the Internet.
An excellent point, as when you answer that kind of survey, the government knows your exact address.

I still think that most chinese do agree with the censorship; after all, they have been brain-washed into beleiving that the internet is dangerous.

It is a unavoidable problem in democracy: if you are advocating for democracy, you can't justify ingerence if the people concerned don't want it; even if you think that they are brain-washed/wrong.

But in that case, we have a good hint at something that makes sense: only take into account the opinion of people who actually know what they are talking about. That someone who has never used the internet beleive it to be addictive, that someone who has never read western medias beleive them to be only lies, those are not very pertinent.

It's the same as all those journalists saying how violent a video game is, without having played it.

Re:Accurate? (2, Funny)

Oswald (235719) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404564)

Um, "ingerence" is French. I had to get a Google translation of a web page to find out it meant "intervention."

The fun part is thinking of reasons you would have made that mistake. Perhaps posting on Slashdot, in English, makes you think of Americans. Perhaps every time the French people you know mention America it's in the same breath as "ingerence" because of our indiscretion in Iraq. Perhaps your brain did a double back flip with a twist and ended up inserting "ingerence" instead of "intervention" by some process of association. Perhaps.

Or perhaps everybody here says "ingerence" except the hicks I know. It doesn't matter, I'm just teasing anyway.

Its not always where you live (5, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404196)

it also is the question your asked and who asks it.

Take voting in the DNC primary, by all accounts and polls one candidate should be getting even more votes than they are getting yet once behind the privacy of the voting booth they don't get them.

Some questions make people uncomfortable whether their freedom is in jeopardy or not. It is also instinctive in some people to give the answer that they believe the questioner wants regardless if its a true one.

While I do agree China is a special case I have seen friends answer complete strangers in what I knew wasn't what they believed but instead what they wanted the questioner to believe.

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23403948)

...15% of Chinese also like censorship.

I'm sure (5, Funny)

NiZm0 (108526) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403950)

*Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Statistics.
*Ministry of Statistics Motto:We're here to make sure you're happy about your statistics.

Re:I'm sure (1)

nfk (570056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404370)

Yeah, if you read the original report there are probably many blacked out words, like "The Chinese do *** like censorship"

Shocking~ (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403954)

You mean people that spend all their life being managed and controlled want the internet to be managed and controlled?

I'm shocked I tells ya, shocked~

Re:Shocking~ (1)

Sethus (609631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404250)

Mod parent up. This really gets to the crux of the issue. If someone spends their whole life in a certain environment, how would they ever perceive what life was like outside of that environment? (See: Plato and the analogy of the Cave)

When Blacks were in Frace during World War II, they were treated by the French far better than they were back in the States. It was an eye opener, and while I know this is a correlation, we had the civil rights movement just twenty years later. While there are a lot of reasons for the Civil Rights movement, that isn't the point of this, what I'm saying is, I agree with the Parent poster, in that how would the average Chinese citizen know what life is like without complete government control? They've accepted it as reality.

Re:Shocking~ (4, Insightful)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404458)

You mean people that spend all their life being managed and controlled want the internet to be managed and controlled?

This is one manifestation of a larger question: how realistic is it to assume that a society that is quickly growing richer wants to rock the boat that has raised their living conditions? It always seemed naive to assume that a richer China would necessarily demand more freedoms. When you consider the effort and sacrifices required to overcome the odds in securing a middle class lifestyle in China today it seems preposterous to assume that these very same people are somehow going to form the vanguard demanding change. Most of these people aren't going to give up their comfortable high rises or prized automobiles for anything or anyone. This may change in time but that time is a long ways away.

Yeah, like that's a reliable data set. (-1, Troll)

Deagol (323173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403956)

No, O'Brien -- you are holding up *four* fucking fingers! Now piss off!

How these asshats ever got granted the Olympic bid is totally beyond my comprehension.

Skewed results (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403958)

How did they perform this survey? I would have a feeling that the majority of people in China are in three or more similar categories:

1. Afraid to answer anything "anonymously" as they know better.

2. Afraid to answer anything other than what they think the State wants them to say (see #1).

3. Are so ingrained in the sheep mentality that they just don't know any better.

4. Are just like Americans and don't really care but don't lie about it.

Re:Skewed results (0, Offtopic)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404042)

haha #4. I mean, bush ... TWICE in a row?

Re:Skewed results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404144)

It all depends on what question was asked ...

If you asked "Do you feel the government has a duty to limit the ability for pornographic or racist websites to be able to target impressionable children?" in most western countries you would (probably) get close to an 85% yes response. Most people do not realize that these laws which are designed to "protect" them from the "evils" of the world are the exact same things that can then be turned against you. Fascism is an amazingly popular movement that is sold in the form of "progressive" and "socialist" policies which gives governments an increasing role in your life by "protecting" you from the evil oil/healthcare companies or "Jews" ...

Re:Skewed results (3, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404170)

I wonder if we're not looking at this with cultural filters, though. It could well be that the Chinese have a mindset that makes government control work where it has failed in the West.

Re:Skewed results (1)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404470)

I think there's yet another category: those Chinese that believe that censorship contributes to a more stable society. There's still lots of Chinese alive today that remember civil war in their country, who may gladly support censorship if it helps to keep the country stable.

Riiiiiiiiiight.... (2, Insightful)

swb311 (1165753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403960)

I wonder how many no votes were censored.

For the common good.

If you gave the same survey in the US or UK... (5, Insightful)

thatseattleguy (897282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403990)

...or another ostensible democracy, and asked the same question, I wonder what percentage would say "yes" here as well?

I think it might me much higher than most Slashdotters would believe.

Re:If you gave the same survey in the US or UK... (2, Informative)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404064)

Unfortunately your probably right, although with the caveat that it is very dependent on how the question is phrased.

A simple solution... Test question, maybe? (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404278)

Question 1. Do you believe that there should be a way for Law Enforcement officials to identify those on the internet who engage in illegal activities, for the sake of protecting the naive or easily prayed upon?

Question 2. Do you want us to have the power to know what you buy online, what your daughter looks like in a bikini, and read the email you sent to your working-away-from-home husband (Paul) with that photo of you(?) in the black and scarlet red corset (and not much else)?

If you answered differently to both of those questions, your opinion is not valid for this survey.

Re:If you gave the same survey in the US or UK... (5, Funny)

stoofa (524247) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404230)

The response from most in the UK would be "What can I win if I take part?"

As for the current government judging if people like the amount of control in their lives, they don't need to do any surveys. They just look at all the CCTV cameras and say "Well, most people are smiling so we can assume they like what we're doing."

Re:If you gave the same survey in the US or UK... (1)

BarneyL (578636) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404406)

Here in the UK the internet is censored. Most ISPs will block a list of addresses requested by the government - largely this is for sites related to child pornography. I'm pretty sure well over 85% of the population are indeed happy with this situation even if they aren't aware of it.
I'm aware that China block far more than the UK does (at least until ISPs start blocking the BBC to keep their bandwidth down) but it's all in how you ask the question.

Re:If you gave the same survey in the US or UK... (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404468)

I would say at least 30% in the US, you know the people who still say Bush is doing a good job are probably willing to let the government do ANYTHING.

What would you say? (2, Insightful)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403996)

So when the central government sanctioned and vetted Chinese Academy of Social Sciences comes round to ask if you like the government to censor your communications....

...how do you reply?

Don't get the answer wrong now will you.

This should be moot. (1)

wraithinfinite (133900) | more than 6 years ago | (#23403998)

Seeing as how the data comes from within a censored and controlled system, let alone the possibility that the poll was taken under a certain amount of duress (i.e. take this poll, but we know who you are, and will monitor what you select) how accurate can this poll be?

Censor child porn, please (2, Insightful)

athloi (1075845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404004)

I think we all like some censorship. I would like to avoid ever hearing about or seeing child porn and would not like my children to have access to easy recipes for explosives and drugs. (Access to scientific materials is legitimate and should be encouraged, and if they can find out how to make explosives and drugs from that, it's probably not a bad thing.)

Re:Censor child porn, please (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404226)

And the question we all have to ask is whether we believe that anybody can be trusted to say that they know best when it comes to what is and isn't allowable for us to access. I believe that even if we did come up with a theoretical list of content that we all found abhorrent and agreed should be blocked, it would still be a mistake to do so because at that moment we would be placing the infrastructure for anybody in power to take it further, 'for our own good'. Nobody can be trusted with that power, especially because it is exactly the power needed to cover up ones own abuses.

Obvious (1)

sohmc (595388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404008)

This seems obvious to me. I bet if you ran the same survey here in the states, it'd be 85% don't like censorship.

It isn't skewed voting... its skewed teaching. (5, Insightful)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404028)

When people are raised in a certain way, they think a certain way. Often, children in abusive households become abusive themselves...

so... what about children raised in a red china communism 'I love the government' household? ...

To add to that problem, how can 85% of chinese vote for an option they've never experienced - if they are living 'well' enough, by their standards, and don't know differently, then why would they change?

Re:It isn't skewed voting... its skewed teaching. (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404164)

If you asked the question "do you believe the content available on the Internet should be controlled" in the US, I wonder how many people would answer yes?

Re:It isn't skewed voting... its skewed teaching. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404428)

Probably far too many, but the difference is, in the US, we're raised on stuff like "Freedom of Speech" and "Give me liberty or give me death!"

In China, they are raised on entirely different principles.

Re:It isn't skewed voting... its skewed teaching. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404578)

100% correct. These people are told their whole lives that the internet is a scary and dangerous place, with people waiting in the shadows to steal your identity or take naughty pictures of your children. After a while, they start to believe it, and want the gov't to filter and make the internet "safe"

Hmm, (5, Insightful)

kabocox (199019) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404038)

I'd go as far to say that 99.99% of humanity thinks that censorship is a good thing as long as they get to pick what is censored from the rest.

Everyone wants the government to be their censorship tool. The government will happily censor stuff. It's just various groups want different things censored and want to be allowed to view their chosen content.

Re:Hmm, (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404488)

I'd go as far to say that 99.99% of humanity thinks that censorship is a good thing as long as they get to pick what is censored from the rest.
Nice to feel special.

I think that censorship is never a good thing, when applied by a central authority. The only kind of censorship I can see working is a community, web-of-trust kind of censorship, and even then, only advisory, not mandatory.

In other words, while I have strong doubts about Freenet ever working technically -- and I can't be bothered to run a node myself -- I do believe a working Freenet would be a good thing.

Unless it's a unanimous 100%, (4, Insightful)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404048)

it's not enough to justify the infringement of a human right.

There is no majority large enough that stripping even one person of their rights against their will is justified.

Re:Unless it's a unanimous 100%, (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404198)

You still have prisons, right? I'm even going to go out on a limb and guess that your jurisdiction probably has capital punishment?

Re:Unless it's a unanimous 100%, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404332)

Hey, me and you and the 14 other people on the planet that understand what the word "freedom" actually means should start our own.... oh, screw it.

Maybe we'd get more people on our side if we presented it as a religious cult instead of a rational conclusion.

In Soviet China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404056)

Censorship like you!

I wonder..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404076)

Yes, I believe my government should censor possible violations of the law on the internet. Also, wouldn't you agree that comrade officer over there is doing a good job? Thank god he's in earshot in case something bad were to happen to me.

Stanley Milgram isn't surprised. (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404084)

Most people are obey authorities they perceive to be legitimate.

Issues. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404100)

In a repressive government people will public speak party lines, most of them say it so much they start to beleave it. So the stats are not that unbeleavable. But I am sure if you can find a non-repressive government I bet you will still find a good number of people pro-censorship. Just as long as it is blocking information they don't want to hear.
Even on Liberal anti-censorship slashdot. Oposing view points are often quickly modded down just because people don't want agree with it or beleave it to be true. While it is not censorship in true sience of the word, it is a way for the moderators to say Hey I don't want people reading this, and if they do I don't want them to think it is a valad argument.

People are humans and humans feel threntoned by different ideas then their own, it doesn't matter if you have just a GED or a PHD you will feel threantoned by different ideas. When people feel threntoned they will try to move to higher powers to prevent the threat.

Re:Issues. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404396)

Even on Liberal anti-censorship slashdot. Did you mean to write 'Especially'?

Modding is not censorship (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404562)

Oposing view points are often quickly modded down just because people don't want agree with it or beleave it to be true. While it is not censorship in true sience of the word, it is a way for the moderators to say Hey I don't want people reading this, and if they do I don't want them to think it is a valad argument.

Oh please. Stop this. Seriously. This gets regularly trotted out by people who have no concept of what censorship actually is. Do you know who actually does the "censoring" in Slashdot? You do. You, by setting your preferences to filter out comments under a certain threshold, you remove someone's ability to be read. As a result, you're the censor on slashdot. Not CowboyNeal, not the moderators, but you - and you alone. So stop blaming others for your actions.

Not to mention that telling others that an opinion is worthless is not the same as censoring. Sometimes, I wish people would spend some time in a country that actually does censor speech, so that they understand the difference. Censoring speech: someone breaks your fingers or throws you in the slammer for propagating illegal/unwanted opinions. Moderating: a mark that tells others "Warning - stupid person talking."

Normally, confusing the two is a sign that the person is 13 and hasn't gotten to political science in high school yet, but that'd make your UID too low. I can only assume you're just confused.

I also have no idea how you managed to misspell "threatened" like that.

Is it really that big of a divide? (4, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404114)

If there was a poll among Americans asking if they felt that terrorism needed to be "managed or controlled" and if they wanted the government to do this managing, I bet the numbers would be similarly high. People aren't magically different across the globe. As long as the average individual isn't too badly off, they tend towards maintaining the status quo. In China this apparently gets translated to "I'm happy now. An influx of radical new ideas may upset this happiness. I'd rather things stay the way they are. The government needs to protect me from this." In the US this is "I'm happy now. An influx of radical terrorists may upset this happiness. I'd rather things stay the way they are. The government needs to protect me from this." You can substitute the fear du jour from almost any point in modern history with similar results.

Misleading headline- (2, Informative)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404146)

The article states that 85% of the people who feel the internet *should* be controlled believe that the Government should be the one to do the controlling.

How many people in China felt that the internet shouldn't be controlled? And, with the political climate the way it is over there, how much can we really trust those numbers - even if the poll was administered by a supposedly neutral organizations?

People get what they deserve, sadly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404150)

I hate to say it, but its usually the case that people get the government that they deserve: the Chinese people don't want freedom, they want order and economic prosperity. So long as their authoritarian government "makes the trains run on time," they're perfectly happy with things. The same goes for countries in the middle-east, where so long as the government makes the usual denouncements of The Great (and Little) Satans in conjunction with the usual lines of praise to Allah, they dont care that they have no freedom (or in their case, even that they have no economic prosperity).

A better recent example is Burma. Could that government have survived for as long as it did without the support of a large share of its people? You may say that the military uses force to suppress its people, but who is it, exactly, that makes up the military? (answer: the people). I realize that this will be considered controversial, but should we really be feeling sorry for the people in Burma and China right now? If they had done something to rise against their government and replace it with one that actually addressed their needs, they would have less of a problem right now. And don't say that they couldn't do anything, that they feared for their lives should they stand up for their rights. Thanks to their inaction, now they're just as dead.

This only proves (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404184)

That generations of oppression, fear and propaganda really is pretty effective in brainwashing your people.

grammar nazi (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404206)

First, the grammar is wrong: 85 pc of Chinese like Censorship

and second, the stats are wrong

How different are we? (4, Insightful)

cozziewozzie (344246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404214)

How many people in Europe and the US want the net to be censored?

Including child pornography, illegal material, the anarchist cookbook, DeCSS, Nazi propaganda sites, etc?

The level of censorship in China is obviously leaps and bounds beyond anything else in the world, and I'm not suggesting otherwise. but I think that people overestimate the meaning of free speech to the average citizen. As long as it doesn't bother them, most people don't have any problems whatsoever when extremists, deviants, weirdos, and the like are censored, as long as it doesn't directly concern them and the stuff they're interested.

The majority of people in China are not interested in politics, both traditionally, and because it's been a bad idea to be involved in politics for the last 50 years. So if they don't read Dalai Lama's speeches, Japanese version of history, or Germany's take on political freedom in China, they don't particularly care, as they're not interested in it in the first place.

Even here, people clap happily as the FBI and similar agencies in Europe freely read our emails, search our computers, confiscate hardware, all in the name of counter-terrorism. Make a Pew poll in Europe and let's see how many average people have a problem with this?

The situation in China is obviously far worse, but instead of patting ourselves on the back and going on about evil Chinese and how much better we are, it would be wise to draw some parallels.

Stockholm Syndrome writ large? (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404218)

Maybe it is my western sensibilities, but it seems possible that the 85% might be analogous to the Patty/Tanya and Symbionese Liberation Army episode if the metaphor is stretched; victims undergo some mental change of perspective and become willing followers of those who "kidnapped" them...?

Is the headline damaged or is it me? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404224)

Is the headline actually proper grammar someplace in the world? I know in the US it would be "85% of Chinese like Censorship". I know that in the UK you have this weird thing where you refer to a single corporation in the plural, but this is referring to a plural with the term for a singular...

I do not believe polls from communist countries (5, Insightful)

kyknos.org (643709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404242)

I live in a post-communist country and I remember the communism very well. Most people in the Czech Republic, before the fall of communism, would probably answer "yes, we agree with the goverment" in any poll, regardless of the question, if they just weren't absolutely sure that the authorities wouldn't know their answer. Because free expression of opinion, in such a country, may mean anything from financial loss to death.

let's be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404248)

90% of Americans probably think the Internet should be "managed and controlled" and at least half of those people think it should be the governments responsibility.

What happens if you ask the Chinese "should the internet be censored?" - I assure you, the yes rate would plummet.

obviously (1)

gsgleason (1241794) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404260)

Isn't that the whole idea behind brainwashing? They realized that they love big brother!

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404264)


It takes freedom to understand what freedom is. If they don't know anything other than censorship then it has to be OK, right?

Actually... (1)

nfk (570056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404294)

There are tons of reports contradicting this analysis, but unfortunately they have been censored.

Re:Actually... (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404464)

There are tons of reports contradicting this analysis, but unfortunately they have been censored.
If they were censored, you wouldn't know about them... unless you were involved in censoring them. :)

Hu? Is that you, buddy? How's the golf game these days?

85% of Chinese likes censorship (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404298)

85% of Chinese likes censorship, the other 15% likes subject-verb agreement.

Or are we taking about one man from Beijing whose left arm is he only part that's in favour of free speech?

Re:85% of Chinese likes censorship (2, Interesting)

hansraj (458504) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404542)

And as some other poster already pointed out, the left arm is in jail.

Chinese citizens ARE the enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404314)

I see a lot of posts on various internet forums espousing the idea that we should love the Chinese people even though their government is so frighteningly oppressive and corrupt. If polling like this is the norm and truly reflects the reality of the Chinese citizenry, it means that they either tacitly or wholeheartedly approve of their government's human rights abuses. If that is the case, then the enemies of freedom ARE the Chinese citizens.

While an unpopular idea, for sure, it looks to be true to me.

Yeah? So what? (1)

sizzzzlerz (714878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404324)

If you ask the people of North Korea whether their government is benevolent and is looking out for their best interests, I'm sure you would find that better than 85% would agree that it is. All the while, they're foraging in the woods for weeds and tree bark to eat as their Dear Leader cavorts with hookers back in one of his many palaces.

Living under such a totalitarian regime does have a tendency to affect your opinions.

Stup, ungrammatical headline (2, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404330)

"85% of Chinese likes Censorship"

What semi-literate posted that?

Anyway, the summary is misleading as well as poorly drafted. If you read TFA, it's not a simple survey about "Censorship: good or bad?", it was about the perils of the Internet, and whether the government should protect users from porn, stalkers, malware, fraud. Put in those terms, you'd get similar answers anywhere. And of course, Chinese are not stupid. Those that DO have misgivings about government controls are exactly the people who suspect that every word they write is monitored.

This is so stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404506)

The chinese have been slaves to their masters for so long they don't know what they are missing. I swear, they steal our patents, copy our music, copy all our designs, taint our food with poisons, poison our kids with lead. I think what this survey should say is that ONLY 85% of chinese approve of censoring. It just goes to show that the thoughts and hearts of the Chinese people are controlled by the Chinese gov't. Why companies are handing over design and development to these people is something I will never understand.

Read the report. (4, Insightful)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404382)

Read the report. It isn't as black-and-white as the summary makes it out to be.

The findings for one type of online content -- politics -- may seem more puzzling. Since 2005, the percentage of users who say that online content about "politics" should be controlled or managed jumped from 8% to 41%, by far the biggest increase of any items tested.

Guo said that the explanation for this increase probably lies in the spate of widely publicized incidents of fraud, blackmail, sensationalism, and other abuse of Chinese citizens via the internet. The Chinese word used for "politics" in this survey, zhengzhi, is not confined simply to political rights or competition for political control but may be understood to include larger questions of public morality and social values.
While I love bashing Communists, the report simply doesn't allow it. It appears to be more of a cultural, rather than political, difference.

Pretty damn interesting, actually.

Censorchip achieving its goals (1)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404394)

A lot of the comments so far suggest that everyone answering the survey was answering out of a fear of the totalitarian regime mentality.

While that is likely part of the case I'm guessing that a large portion of the population truly believes that censorship is the best thing for them. This means that the censorship and propaganda machine is doing exactly what it is designed to do. Intelligent people being informed only by what the propaganda machine wants them to know are saying that the internet is bad and the government is protecting them from it.

I'm much more worried about a government that rules by manipulating the minds of its population than one that simply rules out by fear and intimidation.

Maybe it's a culture difference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404454)

It's possible that the chinese do understand fully the implications of censorship, but that they still think that it's a good thing. This goes back to the discussion of democracy... just because we as westerners think it's the best form of government and would never live in a tyranny, doesn't mean that other peoples around the world think that too. Some societies like tyranny, as well as living in a big brother society.
When it comes to government, one size does not fit all.

Order does have an appeal (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404492)

You know, its easy to paint everyone in China as a victim of internet persecution, but maybe the Chinese really do want a regulated and censored internet. I mean, think about it. China is a very conservative society. If the Chinese government really could block all porn, criminal sites, spyware sites, or even plain disruptive content, and everything like it, then, a lot of people who actually like where their country is headed wouldn't think too much of giving up the right to criticize their government in order to get their "safer" internet. I mean, if George Bush had won Iraq, and USA GDP was growing by 10% a year, real US wages were doubling, everyone was building like crazy, new skyscrapers were popping up everywhere, then, who would really be complaining?

I wonder how Americans would answer that survey. (1)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404508)

Seriously, I wonder if those numbers would be far off from how Americans would reply. After all, with all of those news reports about all of those pedophiles and evil-doers on the 'net, while I suspect the number would be lower, I don't think it'd be 0%.

See, that's why we have a representative government backed by a constitution and founded on a culture of respect for individual rights and not a pure democracy: because sometimes the majority is not right, and it's important to have a check against what may seem to be "politically fashionable" but ultimately destructive.

People believe what they're told... (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404514)

...if it's told consistently and often enough.

So most Chinese think that internet censorship is necessary and good because they're told over and over that it's necessary and good.

After being lied to by our own administration about the need to invade Iraq to "prevent terrorism", 41% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was directly involved in "planning, financing, or carrying out" the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center.

And this is in a society that purports to believe in the benefits of being free, and having been lied to a lot less convincingly than most Chinese are about the need for governmental internet control.

Next up, turning a scientific consensus into a "hotly contested issue". Evolution, the human effect on global warming, pick one.

Subject (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404516)

I would appreciate the freedom for people to be anonymous if it didn't make alot of people into assholes and didn't keep you from knowing which of the people were the same asshole.

I don't think the extremes China takes is comforting, either. The good thing about being anonymous, even when you're using a different name, is you can pretend to be whoever you want to be, and sometimes that just makes talking about what you really need to talk about a little easier.

Totally understandable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404530)

When I was in China, it was very clear that everyone there was totally okay with the government handling everything. When talking to our guide, the biggest thing the people like about their government is that they get stuff done, with little to no red tape.

They're born and raised under government control, and in the last decade China has seen more people raised out of poverty than any other time in its history. It's not hard to see why they might think the government is pretty good.

Propganda taken into consideration ? (1)

Davemania (580154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404532)

Did the sampling take propaganda into consideration ? From what I've read from the report, the general concern isn't about free speech but about red herring issues such as internet addiction about internet gaming, porn, violence etc. Some thing that Jack Thompson would thrive at. If the government is able to control the message about the purpose of the internet censorship, such poll can be easily swayed. I also think the title is very broad, I doubt 85% will support censorship on basic rights to voice opionion

Wow, actually an interesting read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23404534)

If anyone actually reads the report, it's more insightful and interesting than you might first think.

While the generic comments posted here about china may have some truth, the story seems to go much deeper.

Not everyone in the survey is actually an internet user, for starters. Also, much of the control and management is about controlling porn, spam, and advertising. Only 41% of them think there should be management of politics.

The press in china also seems to have highly publicized many negative stories involving fraud, scams and other bad things that can happen on the internet. So it's not surprising many chinese don't trust it. When all you hear on the news is stories of murder, it doesn't exactly make you feel safe.

Yes, and Saddam got 99% of the vote too. (1)

macjn (785842) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404538)

Right, and 99% of the people in Iraq voted for Saddam Hussein in the final election before he was removed from power. Not that this number is suspect in any way. ;-) Sigh.

incomplete? (1)

DeadPanDan (1165901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404584)

Did they include the prison population in this?

Data might not be wrong... (1)

clichescreenname (1220316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404600)

I wouldn't be so quick to assume the results of this thing are wrong.

I know this is anecdotal, but I used to know a kid who was an exchange student from China. He was always talking about how crazy American media was for criticizing the Bush administration over the war. He basically saw it as being "treasonous" (his words).

I find it disconcerting that whenever a poll comes out which shows that people who come from totally different cultural backgrounds feel differently than we do about democracy/censorship, everybody starts crying foul play.

I'm not saying that I don't like democracy or the freedom of press; I fuckin' love it. I just don't necessarily think that everybody everywhere has to feel the same way.

The question defines the answer (4, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404604)

Like any survey, the results can be affected by the question that's asked.

So: "do you beleive in free speech?" 99% of the respondents say yes (1% don't know)

Or: "Should the internet be regulated, to protect your children?" .. now we're getting into interesting territory - I'd be willing to bet that most parents of 18 or less year-olds would say yes.

How about: "Should the ISPs do more to reduce pornography on the internet?"

Try this: "Is it reasonable for your employer to restrict your net surfing?"

Finally: "Do you think the government should protect internet users from violent or inappropriate content?"

Now tell me: which one of these questions defines censorship? The answer will depend on your individual outlook and where you live, whether you're responsible for other people. The final point about censorship is that no matter what your personal opinion of it is, you don't have the right to impose your view on others. Even if they're in favour of it and you think you know better.

lol!!! (1)

umbl3r (1247150) | more than 6 years ago | (#23404614)

makes me think of that commercial, 90 percent of statistics can be right 50% of the time. "yea that sounds about right"
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