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New Rules Bring a "Credit Rating" For Users of Chinese Social Network

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the orwell-was-at-least-fiction dept.

Censorship 89

An anonymous reader links this article describing a newly installed set of rules affecting the already put-upon Internet users of China, specifically affecting users of social network Sina Weibo: "Sina Weibo users each will now receive 80 points to begin with, and this can be boosted to a full 100 points by those who provide their official government-issued identification numbers (like Social Security numbers in the U.S.) and link to a cellphone account. Spreading falsehoods will lead to deductions in points, among other penalties. Spreading an untruth to 100 other users will result in a deduction of two points. Spreading it to 100-1,000 other users will result in a deduction of five points, as well as a week's suspension of the account. Spreading it to more than 1,000 other users will result in a deduction of 10 points, as well as a 15-day suspension of the account." The article explains (in truth, not very helpfully) the extent to which users' freedom to talk freely will be curtailed; the long list of what not to do "includes using 'nonconforming' or false images to mislead," "exaggerating events," "presenting already [resolved] events as ongoing," "efforts to incite ethnic tensions and violence and hurt ethnic unity" and "efforts to spread cultist or superstitious thinking; spreading rumors to disrupt social harmony." (And of course the catch-all: "other activities stipulated by authorities.")

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89 comments

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That thing you're doing (3, Funny)

kegon (766647) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195735)

You know the one; just cut it out; I'm not going to tell you again.

Who decides? (4, Insightful)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195751)

I suppose here if your facts are different than the "official government facts" you're guilty of spreading falsehoods.

Will it work in reverse? (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195797)

Will only people who repeat government propaganda have the high scores?

If your score is above 75, you're probably a government propagandist.

Re:Will it work in reverse? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197009)

Weibo is still a thousand times better than Facebook on any day.
Less 13 year olds shouting drama about how much their life sucks in random groups. :)

Re:Will it work in reverse? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199309)

Are you kidding. People use social network sites to mostly have fun. What is the point of adding in this kind of rating system when all you will do is make using the social network too much hard work and basically the only safe way to use it, is not to use it. People will simply shift to an easier to use social network.

Re:Will it work in reverse? (1)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200143)

I don't think you quite understand the point of my comment.
I generally find Weibo far more fun to use cause there is generally a lot less drama and whining going on there. Additionally they didn't bother to hide everything in a 20 layer menu structure like Facebook did. The result is rather easy to use. And frankly if I use a social network site I'm looking for a very specific set of services. I'm not interested in your revolutions, your whining, your political views, ... . If you want to argue about that go and do it somewhere else but don't annoy me with it during my spare time.
And before anybody whines about handing over credentials. Fact is that if they really want to know your personal information, they'll get it no matter what. Most likely scenario is that they don't really give a damn about what you do. Governments work like that. So that argument is also very much flawed.

Re:Will it work in reverse? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198489)

"Hey, what's your credit rating?"
"10"
"So you're a reliable source."

Precisely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40195983)

Realize that obtaining objectivity is actually pretty hard. In America, entire cities of people would like to teach that man was created from dirt by a very anthropomorphic all-powerful being, and that the theory of evolution is a direct lie intended to mislead you to a pit of eternal fire. They are pretty angry at governmental regulations that forbid the teachings of what they think is "truth," and require the teaching of what they think is a lie. And yet, equally populous communities of scientifically enlightened Americans approve of this governmental regulation of truth, while simultaneously disapproving of the Chinese government doing the same thing.

Freedom in general is pretty difficult to tolerate. The more free my neighbors are, the more they are able to do things that harm me (like ruin their yards which reduces my property values, mishandle their firearms resulting in bullets flying in my direction, or vote in laws that prevent me from terminating an unwanted pregnancy or marrying whatever adult I fall in love with, or establish market dominance and abuse their position as a monopoly forcing me out of business and relegating me to work for pennies, etc.).

The higher the population density, the greater incentive everyone faces to limit what everyone else can do (while, of course, wanting to retain their own freedoms). The end result is an endless game of hypocrisy and tyranny. Don't expect it to change, either, as this is the best humans can do.

Re:Precisely (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201925)

And yet, equally populous communities of scientifically enlightened Americans approve of this governmental regulation of truth, while simultaneously disapproving of the Chinese government doing the same thing.

That's a nice apology for Chinese-style censorship that tries to make all censorship equal. In the US you can still teach your kids the ancient Hebrew mythology, spread it online, or whatever. You just can't do it as part of public school because public funds are being used and there's the First Amendment which both forbids the latter while protecting the former: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

It's absolutely true that there's always a tension between individual freedom and societal good, but China has clearly staked out a position to extreme regulation for the "good" of society.

Obvious (5, Funny)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195779)

Someone in China must read /. and decided to adopt the Karma system.

Re:Obvious (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195933)

Either that or they're a fan of Whuffie [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196411)

Well it's common knowledge that there are a few Chinese Government shills on /.

Re:Obvious (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198199)

Can I get mod points for turning in Samzenpus to the party authorities?

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40200075)

Only if they'll take timothy too...

How convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40195805)

To determine who's most honest all I must do is sort users in ascending order, those with the fewest points are more honest than those with the most.

Interesting, Captcha is Botching

Re:How convenient (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195921)

Sure, but sorting and reading/socializing that way also identifies you as subversive. How convenient indeed!

Re:How convenient (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196383)

most honest or most brave/stupid/outspoken?

You can be honest without painting a target on yourself and your family.

In moderation (1)

Cazekiel (1417893) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195823)

Why can't they do this on youtube? And can they include demerits for bad spelling/grammar? Might not be the worst idea.

Kidding.

Re:In moderation (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196425)

I almost wish you weren't kidding. There really would be a benefit of a general score of how valuable/useless certain people's comments are. Unfortunately to be most effective, this would require tracking people across sites.

Re:In moderation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196977)

There is its called Liked or Disliked, why would anyone watch a video disliked by 100,000 people unless your just looking for pain. Or maybe that is where this system fails, there are just way to many retarded people in the world (china) and to many mental patients (or should be) and lets not forget just people who don't think conformity. No YouTube is good as it is, flame wars Ä la cart.

Nice!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40195837)

Where do I sign up?

Good blueprint (1)

kchoudhu (2572437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195845)

When can we implement this Stateside?

Re:Good blueprint (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195975)

When can we implement this Stateside?

What a concept, having friends with 645 or better. My credit rating is -6, I can't imagine what kind and how many friends I'll have. Hopefully, not the Kardashians.

Was anyone expecting otherwise? (2, Informative)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195861)


Probably has to do with this ( http://articles.cnn.com/2012-03-30/asia/world_asia_china-microblogs-crackdown_1_coup-rumors-coup-attempt-sina-s-weibo?_s=PM:ASIA [cnn.com] )

Spreading of unfounded rumors of a coup in Beijing on Social media, means more restrictions will come into play. It was to be expected. After all, libel and other forms of lying are illegal in most of the world. So is attempting to incite rebellion illegal in just about every country in the world including China. Its obvious that the Chinese would do something about it eventually.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40195911)

You don't live there anymore, you ont have to continue toeing the party line. Or do they have your family hostage?

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1, Informative)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196215)


Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not Chinese. Hell I've never even been to the country.

Fact is, in the US for example,

18 USC 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.

And to think, that makes the Arab Spring style of government change illegal in the US, even though the US supports such means in the ME, and tends to call the kettle black when it comes to China and their own internal censorship.

It also means spreading false rumors that the government is being over thrown to support and make people want to revolt, such as what happened in China illegal in the US as well.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196675)

"by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government"

With or without this little piece, it makes a big difference. With it, you can say whatever you want about the US government, as long as you don't threaten a violent coup.

Without it, you don't have free journalism, no peaceful protests, no talking about the government in a negative way whatsoever, because that would be trying to overthrow the government with manipulation/protests/etc.

China is just heading towards a WWII Germany, or a Cold War USSR. And seeing as the entire world's economy is based around them at the moment (and they like it that way), nobody is going to do anything about it.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196761)


Force ... http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/force [merriam-webster.com]

moral or mental strength
capacity to persuade or convince

People who had never done anything else wrong, other then believed in the wrong political party, distributed information about their political ideology were deemed a threat and charged under this section of US law. Without violence or other physical harm being done. Read some history, it will do good for you.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199905)

Then taking advantage of your considerable condescending nature, why don't you supply me with links to such historical figures. As I don't live there, my history lessons did not revolve around the US, hard as that may be to understand.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197865)

China is just heading towards a WWII Germany, or a Cold War USSR.

No. This is the opposite of what is happening. China used to be more repressive than either the USSR or Germany ever was. Read up on the horrors of the Cultural Revolution or the Great Leap Forward. China has a long way to go to be as free as we are in the West, but they are heading in the right direction. This is just a little bump in the road.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (4, Insightful)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197391)

Burning mod points to post:

That looks like a "last ditch" effort against those advocating violent overthrow. But as far as I can see, it hasn't been used since 1958 [wikipedia.org] . A large portion of the act that set it up seems to have been ruled unconstitutional too.

In any case, there's a MASSIVE difference between that and what China's attempting to do. One is a legal charge to be proven in court (under Common law, it's not disproven; the prosecution has to make the case that the accused violated the law, not the other way round), and the other is a measure of suppression. Further, if this is a reaction to the link you posted, the article only talks about news spreading about a rumored coup attempt, and not about anybody planning said alleged coup on microblogging sites.

What's the Chinese government worried about? That people knowing that a coup attempt is possible will then realize that their leaders are not infallible and that they can change the government? That they'll demand a real say in how things are done, and real democracy? Are they upset that anyone could legitimately not tow the party line? Cowards!

For comparison, here's how [hindustantimes.com] a democracy handles such allegations in the public. Keep in mind, this wasn't some random tweeters, but a real newspaper. The newspaper report was duly discredited, and life goes on.

Besides, movements like Occupy Wall Street, or India Against Corruption [wikipedia.org] or even the Tea Party are welcomed in mature nations - they form a conduit for people to express themselves on how they wish to be governed. Consent of the governed should be the only path to legitimacy for any rulers. Anything else is a dictatorship.

Sorry, I have no sympathy for China in this.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (-1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197479)

One is a legal charge to be proven in court (under Common law, it's not disproven; the prosecution has to make the case that the accused violated the law, not the other way round)

1) Common law is a British thing exported to large amounts of the world due to the British colonization of those areas. It is not existent in 2/3rds of the world, including the vast majority of European countries.
2) Your not talking about Common law, your talking about the Latin "Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat" ("Proof lies on him who asserts, not on him who denies"), Common law is simply a legal system where as instead of just government laws being considered in court cases, court cases can call upon other previous court cases as precedence when considering whether or not something is a crime, and how to punish someone for it.

So in effect you were "burning up mod points" to argue that the entire World should use the British system of Government and court? Something that was imposed on most of the world initially by the British through colonization and therefor force?

Critical thinking would have taught you that not everyone in this world believes the same way, nor does it mean that they want to think the way you believe they should. Last I checked the sun set on the British Empire, and it will not come back.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197573)

Face, meet palm!

I said "Common Law" because that's what the US uses. Naturally, most civli law jurisdictions use it too.

What I'm arguing is not that the whole world should use the British system. I'm arguing that your charge against the US is specious on those grounds.

I'm no fan of many things the US government tries to do, but your charge that they're just like the CCP is ridiculous!

Anyway, congratulations on cherry picking one minor portion, in brackets no less, which I added as an explanation, to question me, and then make a wild charge of my being a British supremacist... Any answer to the meat of my argument?

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197981)

Face, meet palm!

I said "Common Law" because that's what the US uses. Naturally, most civli law jurisdictions use it too.

Not really. Most Civil Law jurisdictions its on the defendant to prove he or she is not guilty, through the use of interpretation of the Law. Only in Common Law does it become a natural right. Even in Europe, until they ratified the UN Declaration of Human Rights, most of them, being Civil Law countries did not follow the thought of "Innocent till proven guilty".

And many of these countries that only really applies till the Prosecutor decides to charge you with something and go to court. So until you see a Judge, your innocent, once you do, its your responsibility to prove your innocence.

You need to realize, your ideals and beliefs are not shared with the entire world. Your arrogance is showing.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (2)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198813)

You mean to say that the French or Germans don't have presumption of innocence?

I believe that they'd be rather [wikipedia.org] surprised to learn that! [wikipedia.org] In fact, it's even more explicit in the European Declaration of Human Rights than in the US constitution. Some places like Scotland have the "not proven" verdict. Incidentally, Scottish law is Civil, not Common. No sensible country, from what I can see, has codified presumption of guilt. This [bepress.com] rather long article goes into good detail on how the European system developed.

You're still to address my main point. You're still going off on a tangent that isn't even central to my point. Why should I be sympathetic to a government that cannot take criticism, and unleashes its freakin' army on people who protest too much?

The fundamental problem with your thesis that other places are just different and that we must respect their differences, is that this is not a difference that one can condone. There are certain basic rights [wikipedia.org] that all human beings should enjoy. Any government that takes away those rights is by default a tyranny. I have great respect for the uniqueness and contributions of the Chinese people. None at all for their government.

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40201065)

Democracy doesn't work, so stop trying to shove it down everyone's throat.

Of 300 million voters in the U.S., I would guess than less than 10 million of them are competent enough to justify having a vote.

That means there are probably 20 times more incompetent zombies voting based on whose TV ads hurt their feelings the least.

Is that how you want your country (or China) to be run? By uninformed zombies?

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1)

Khashishi (775369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40201767)

Occupy wall street welcomed? Which mature nations are you referring to?

Re:Was anyone expecting otherwise? (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199975)

Fact is, in the US for example,

Stop apologizing for despots and their machinations of evil. You're a traitor to liberty; to your own self. The words you quoted are nothing more than tools used to enslave, and you yourself are a tool for spreading them.

Here's something more relevant:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

These words were written by those who were sick and tired of the very same slavery, and vowed to put an end to it.

Unfortunately their weak-kneed, pants pissing children and grandchildren let the tyranny creep back in, generation after generation, resulting in the traitorous words you so blindly copied and pasted for us above. Stop being a tool for your government masters, you disgusting worm.

Samuel Adams said it best:

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Sounds fair (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195879)

50 points from Griffindor!!!!!

President Obama (2, Funny)

Dr. Tom (23206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195885)

Chinese citizen: I love President Obama and his wife Hillary Clinton. I got a "Clinton" at the Olympics.
You Americans call that a bj if I recall correctly.

to be honest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40195893)

...this is how centralised social media platforms already work (from Facebook to Wikipedia), except the mob with the most time to waste acts as the censor.

[LIKE]

If you want to disseminate or discuss information freely, you don't use such a service.

Re:to be honest... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196429)

That's what I like about /. - there's no censorship (or at least there wasn't until this flag button came along) and this allowed people to speak their mind. We may not like what others have to say but it's the only way to have any meaningful discussion.

Also, everyone should be able to sort bullshit from pertinent posts on their own in order to decide what to pay attention to and what to ignore (and if not, then these are skills that can be learned).

Considering Censorship in China is illegal (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#40195947)

Censorship in China is illegal. Since it's illegal, it doesn't happen, so there is no need for a complaint mechanism. Amusing as that line of thinking (or not thinking) is, it isn't as bad as the Conservative government in Canada. Faced with criticism about it's environmental policies, it responded by taking away environmental organisations charitable status. Don't respond to criticism, wipe it out. Maybe that's why Prime Minister Harper refers to his jet as the Death Star.

Took away their TAX FREE STATUS!! (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196289)

That is inhuman. So a gift of $100 actually costs me $100 instead of $50 odd dollars?

We should institute this in Europe/UK/Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196003)

Categories could include already illegal things such as

"criticizing a religion other than Christianity", "questioning the existence of the Holocaust or diminishing its importance or uniqueness", "saying something unkind to a gay person, or something bad about gay people in general" and "efforts to incite racial hatred and violence and hurt ethnic unity".

Re:We should institute this in Europe/UK/Australia (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196119)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. "Questioning the existence of the holocaust" should be something which is socially frowned upon, and should have some sort of repercussions, such as a mandatory visit to a Holocaust museum. I also don't see what's wrong with punishing "efforts to incite racial hatred and violence".

Re:We should institute this in Europe/UK/Australia (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196549)

The problem is, it's nobody's business if I don't believe the Holocaust happened, and I should have the right to express my opinions. And once you start banning people from questioning facts, you create a mechanism where the government can "force" people to believe what the government wants them to.

Sure, right now this is used for good it seems - we just ban holocaust denialism. Now what happens if one day the government decided to ban creationism denialism? In theory it can happen, because when the government was given the right to ban holocaust denialism it was effectively given the right to ban some kinds of speech.

Also, there is no way to study history accurately thanks to banning holocaust denialism. It's a given fact that both the allies and the axis used propaganda in the war. It's also known that the winner writes history. I'm not saying the holocaust did not happen, but some of it might be exaggerated or completely false. Who knows, maybe some German documents describing SOME atrocities might turn out to be forgeries written by the allies for propaganda purposes.... The problem is, historians can't study this now - their hands are tied by the law (or more accurately, their mouths are shut).

Finally, banning holocaust denialism just gives credit to the denialists. See, if the government can really prove that the holocaust happened, then why are they silencing critics instead of showing us evidence? Maybe the denialists are on to something...
Censoring them can also make them look like victims of oppression. I personally think they are victims of oppression - I disagree with their views on the Holocaust but I don't think they should be censored abusively by the government like is the case now. France of all countries should know better, considering it's history.
And most of all, do you know exactly what denialists say? Do you know what arguments they use exactly? I don't and neither does anyone, since we don't let them speak. If a denialist came up to me and showed me his evidence, I probably would not know how to counter him. He might show me documents that "prove" the holocaust did not happen, and maybe these documents have been found to be forgeries 20 years ago, but since there's no public debate about this, I would not be able to tell him "oh yeah I know that document, it's a fake". The only counter I would have would be to put my fingers in my ears and repeat loudly "I'M NOT LISTENING YOU ARE A DENIALIST I DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD YOU SAY" and that is NOT debate and it does NOT make me more educated or wiser.

As for "inciting racial hatred" and such - problem is, anything can be deemed to incite racial hatred. These laws are often too broad and can serve to censor/punish more than people who seriously want to organize mass lynchings of an ethnic minority. Just saying "due to the threat of terrorism, we should be extra-careful and screen Pakistani immigrants VERY carefully before letting them inside our country" can be construed as inciting racial hatred.
Also, same as with outlawing denialism, this will only push racists underground where they can't be countered and criticized. If we had a public debate about racism, we could teach people why racism is wrong and more importantly, why the ideas of racists are wrong. Some people might say that we do educate people about racism and why it's wrong, but this is not true - most people know very little about the history of racism, or history in general. Some racists argue that the white man has always been more advanced than other races, which ignores the fact that Asia was scientifically superior to Europe at one point (until the 5th century, I believe). But a lot of people don't even know that at one time, white people were behind China. When a racist tells these people "the white man was always superior", these people will agree because they don't know history well enough. And there will be nobody to oppose that racist and say "hey, you're wrong there, here's an example..." because thanks to censorship laws, racists will make damn sure there are no anti-racists around when they spread their propaganda.

Re:We should institute this in Europe/UK/Australia (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198619)

You europeans/britons/australians are waaay too easily offended if you need to censure words with criminal punishment. Get a spine, get a grip.

Re:We should institute this in Europe/UK/Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40205709)

The problem is that inciting (immediate) violence is already illegal, so they key word is hatred.

Inciting hatred should not be illegal because of the inherently vague nature of "hatred". Basically there is no way to criticize or disagree with something or someone that couldn't be interpreted as inciting "hatred".

Consider an Israeli who says "I believe Israel must remain a Jewish state, and that the right of return for Palestinians would threaten Israel's status as a Jewish state, therefore I oppose it". Did that person incite hatred against non-Jews?

What about an Australian who says "I believe Australia must remain an Anglo-Celtic nation, and that immigration from Asian countries would threaten Australia's status as an Anglo-Celtic nation, therefore I oppose it." Has that person incited hatred?

silly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196043)

CHICOMs

Nice censorship you got there (3, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196051)

And this was one of the countries petitioning the UN for control of the internet....

Naturally (2)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197407)

If it's a UN body, they can use their vote/veto to censor anything they don't like.

They're all about micromanaging what people think, apparently...

Better redo the maths on this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196087)

"Spreading an untruth to 100 other users will result in a deduction of two points. Spreading it to 100-1,000 other users will result in a deduction of five points, as well as a week's suspension of the account. Spreading it to more than 1,000 other users will result in a deduction of 10 points, as well as a 15-day suspension of the account."

This plan seems to ignore that information could be spread to a vast number of people at little cost to owners accounts spawning the last couple of hops.

 

Re:Better redo the maths on this one (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197427)

Depends on how you define "untruth". The way you or I would probably define it is "something that is not true", in which case, the question becomes "how do you (the sharer) know something to be 'true' before sharing?" or alternatively, "Do you, in good faith, believe that what you shared was true?"

The way the Chinese government seems to define it is, "Any statement that is critical of, or damaging to the reputation of the Communist Party and the Glorious People's Republic". In which case, why did you share something that you knew to be an untruth, you swine? 50 points from Gryffindor (plagiarized from above commenter [slashdot.org] )

Re:Better redo the maths on this one (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40200011)

This plan seems to count on the fact that information could be spread to a vast number of people at little cost to owners accounts spawning the last couple of hops.

FTFY. Emphasis added

Chinese Weibo commentary is obtuse (2)

retroworks (652802) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196093)

To avoid censorship (which the Party is attempting to be less ham-fisted with) the "political" comments with the most re-tweets have become more and more sideways. I'd expect the "rewards" system to have to wait until some re-tweet elevates, at which point everyone will be punished retrospectively who re-tweeted it. The evolution of Chinese commentary in social networks is really something.

The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196377)

How can USA/AUS/GBR use this software to censor their populace?

It's only a matter of time.

so it's like Stack Overflow then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196445)

Dude, we have a ton of sites with that kind of moderation. what's the big deal. if you open a stack overflow account and spread a bunch of false shit about Linux or whatever damn right you gonna get modded down and eventually deleted.

Re:so it's like Stack Overflow then? (2)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197439)

There's a difference between somebody being a troll, and called out for it by other users, and the government retroactively proclaiming something "untrue", which knowing the CCP, would be loosely defined as "stuff we don't want you to say".

Answer, don't censor. Something that most governments, political parties, religious institutions, corporations, etc should have hammered into their heads!

Ideological Lemonade Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196447)

Interesting idea. What about granting "the government" "Authority Points"? Or, something along those lines. Different type of "Branch", "governmental", "security", "administrative", ... financial OR tax .... etc.? The smart -ologists can, I'm sure, work out a lot of very promising mixes of coverage and control, checks, and balances.

Users, of course, could also get a mix of intermoderating pints, I mean, points. Some, to dole out at will. Others, for specific matters.

The authorities would have only so many points to expend in control, administration, supervision, etc. I suppose some fair "point-donation" system could be thought out, that wouldn't be too susceptible to strong-arming or bribery.

Not that bad an Idea.

Might even make it to general "real world" administration and government, some day.

And no, corporations are not people. Not even very very very maladjusted nihilistically neurotic vandal delinquent deranged mental psycho ones.

We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196467)

Just try to do what somebody in power defines as:
1. Deny the holocaust,
2. Incite homophobia.
3. Incite racial hatred.
4. Display child pornography (where in some places e.g. Italy the "child" can mean a 17 years old).
5. Denigrate the Moslem religion.
6. Suggest that Homeland Security has been given too much power.

And in all those cases, truth or consent is NOT a defence!

And you will find yourself in jail, not just banned from posting for a month.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197475)

How very interesting. Which one of those do you have a problem with now, citizen? One moment while I write this down...
</black humor>

The government having the power to regulate those kinds of speech is preferable to vigilantism. No, that's not a binary choice, but I for one feel strongly enough about certain of those topics to make quite a point of it, if you take my meaning. You can argue against your culture's values, and hope to change them, but on these topics it is important to note that people have died for lesser causes. It seems reasonable to suggest that you may either [a] express yourself in terms that aren't going to be labeled as 'hate speech' (i.e. don't be a dick about it), [b] lobby to get the laws changed (which incidentally may promote your cause), [c] or move to someplace where your views are tolerated.

What is it exactly about inciting hatred that you think should be encouraged? Is there no line that can be crossed between holding an opinion and seeking harm to others? DHS and CP probably warrant separate discussion; suffice to say it's likely we don't disagree much there.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (2)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198697)

1. Discussing the issue within the framework set up by authority when it is the authority that needs changing is not usually workable. That's why rebellions start in the first place. Countries that make criminal offenses out of words that make certain people/groups feel bad have no business calling themselves free.

2. lobbying. well this is really an example of 1, right? Except of course you have to be wealthy, which 99% of us aren't, and those who are, are the ones using the government to their advantage. They don't want it to change unless one of their competitors lobbies for something unwanted.

3. love it or leave it, eh? the problem is that there's no where to go. the planet is populated. a lot of countries are moving towards this super sensitive mentality and it's not good for freedom. at all. think about it, if they don't even want citizens suggesting there's something wrong...

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199155)

I would mod you up to 5.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199295)

So when the "others" being incited against are government agents it is acceptable to disregard the principles upon which we have built our society? Your "love it or leave it" simplifies my statement to the point of absurdity. If you do not like your society, you must act to change it or change your locality -- either is acceptable. It is an obvious statement, if you're not inclined towards willful misinterpretation.

Your statements only follow each other sequentially, not logically. Please try again. On the topic of hate speech as described by common law, I asked: is there no line that can be drawn between holding an opinion and seeking harm to others? I admit to a bit of sophistry in equating legality and encouragement, but you should seek to demonstrate that there is greater harm in restricting the individual freedom of speech than restricting the freedom to seek harm to members of your own society. Secondarily you might tackle why the majority of nations seem to disagree with that.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40217019)

"Inciting to harm" should not be a crime. Doing harm is the crime.

  It's like the difference between "assault" and "battery".

With assault, you are not harmed. At the limit, you feel threatened with harm.
With battery, there are bruises.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40220597)

"Inciting to harm" should not be a crime. Doing harm is the crime.

You seem to have forgotten to include your argument. In point of fact I must be generous to assume that you have one. So far, I gather, it goes something like this: "To allow every man an unbounded freedom of speech must always be, on the whole, advantageous to the State, for it is highly conducive to the interests of the community that each individual should enjoy a liberty perfectly unlimited of expressing his sentiments." [wikipedia.org]

In order for your analogy to apply to hate speech we must assume that there is some thing that is analogous to 'battery' in speech. [wikipedia.org] Presumably it is that analogous quality which would be targeted in hate speech laws.

Clearly you are not capable of making an argument. If you have an incomplete case of idiocy, you should spend a day reading the wikipedia articles on logical fallacies; what we call formal argument is simply a technique to try to avoid these fallacies. If you are a complete idiot, you may have to get used to being told so in latin.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40221225)

False analogy = true.

"Inciting to harm" should not be a crime. Doing harm is the crime.

It is the difference between assault and battery.

Thank you for that correction.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40222105)

The first "petitio principii" is "coito ergo sum" (apologies to Descartes).

The second is "libertatum super omnes".

And "libertatum" as in article 4 of "the rights of man"

http://www.barvennon.com/~liberty/Declaration_of_rights_of_man.html [barvennon.com]

If somebody's words do you injury, then the right place to seek restitution is before a jury of peers. Not in legislation.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40238103)

Sound principles. Good argument. You haven't fully addressed the question but I don't feel like continuing to play devil's advocate.
Cheers

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40230119)

So when the "others" being incited against are government agents it is acceptable to disregard the principles upon which we have built our society?

That's just it. This only happens when the officials disregard these principles first, in ways egregious or hypocritical enough to piss people off. if, in a democracy, a lot of people are ready to go from the ballot box to the ammo box, the government has failed and has been failing for a long time. I realize china isn't a democracy, but perhaps that's part of the problem.

[c] or move to someplace where your views are tolerated.

You said 'love it or leave it'. It's quite unambiguous.

but you should seek to demonstrate that there is greater harm in restricting the individual freedom of speech than restricting the freedom to seek harm to members of your own society.

Ok, when the law allows lots of/powerful/influential people to dictate what the minority can say, it quickly becomes a form of tyranny. Without the right to communicate unambiguously, it's impossible for grievances to be heard except couched in whatever newspeak terms the power elite allow.

Secondarily you might tackle why the majority of nations seem to disagree with that.

So when many power structures blatantly abuse their power according to bastardized, orwellian interpretations of their 'cherished principles', it's ok, but citizens are immoral if they revolt against this with violence? Of course most states want this: the officials in power don't want to get shot. They're afraid if enough consensus is built, their lives will be in danger. They're right of course. Instead of passing draconian measures to protect their sorry asses, they should remember who it is they're supposed to serve, and then they need not worry about violent uprisings.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 2 years ago | (#40237403)

[c] or move to someplace where your views are tolerated.

You said 'love it or leave it'. It's quite unambiguous.

And yet your quoted selection somehow manages to be the third of a list of alternatives, and neither of the first two are "Mindlessly repeat the majority position." Slandering my argument does not improve your position.

This only happens when the officials disregard [...]

False. People have been arguing against governments since their inception.

if, in a democracy, a lot of people are ready to go from the ballot box to the ammo box, the government has failed and has been failing for a long time.

False. Red herring.

Ok, when the law allows lots of/powerful/influential people to dictate what the minority can say, it quickly becomes a form of tyranny.

Don't powerful minorities usually dictate terms in tyrannies? An attempt to regulate speech does not necessarily require a majority or minority, and tyranny is not an automatic consequence.

Without the right to communicate unambiguously, it's impossible for grievances to be heard except couched in whatever newspeak terms the power elite allow.

You know that quote and link I gave you about 'begging the question'? You have rephrased it yet again. It's still an invalid argument, sorry.

Your last paragraph is self-serving non sequiturs. Fiery rhetoric is not in itself a valid argument either. I asked you to prove a position, not simply to expostulate on your biases. You clearly wouldn't know a logical argument if one bit you -- I'll thank you not to waste my time further by replying.

My theory is that fundamentally your disagreement with laws of this sort seems to stem from your belief that the rights of the individual are supreme over the rights of the group. If I have inferred incorrectly there, you may correct me. The two are certainly in opposition, but overall we have chosen to construct societies and not typically existed as rugged individualists. If individual welfare were the highest good it would not be necessary to have laws or government or society. The survival of the species, however, does not depend on the individual, and so we don't tend to optimize for it. Cognitive dissonance coming up in 3, 2, 1...

I think I'll refrain from sticking my nose in Randian circle jerks from here on out. It's fortunate that you can't tell you're a raving nutjob, otherwise I'm afraid someone might be in danger of believing you.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199127)

In childrearing, my philosophy was let them do anything they wanted, with the limitation that "only so long as it is not too much trouble to keep a watch that they don't kill themselves" (or someone else).

" Is there no line that can be crossed between holding an opinion and seeking harm to others?" I think the line is the infringement of the other's liberty.

From "The Rights of Man" 1789. Article IV "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights."

As for enforcement. I do not think there is such thing as "a right to privacy in public space".

To control violence I would have all public space under continuous (webcam) observation with facial recognition and AI watching for any developing situation.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40205733)

Except that this "culture" was imposed from the top-down. Anti-racism is taught by the media, schools, universities and the government. It is as much an imposition against the will of the people as the Chinese government, even more so perhaps since most Chinese seem to support their government out of nationalist instinct without any coercion.

Why would civil rights (in the US) need the be Federal Law? Even individual state's wouldn't have passed them at the time.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40197607)

Just try to do what somebody in power defines as:
1. Deny the holocaust,

Last I heard, that was Germany, not the Anglosphere...

2. Incite homophobia.
3. Incite racial hatred.

Incite homophobic violence and racial violence more like; otherwise certain politicians would be jailed for multiple life terms. To name just one, Rick Santorum in the US.

4. Display child pornography (where in some places e.g. Italy the "child" can mean a 17 years old).

Child pornography is violence (of a sort) against a child who cannot consent. How is this a free speech issue?

5. Denigrate the Moslem religion.

Yet, Richard Dawkins and Pastor Terry Jones are still free

6. Suggest that Homeland Security has been given too much power.

Yet, Bruce Scheiner still roams free.

And in all those cases, truth or consent is NOT a defence!

And you will find yourself in jail, not just banned from posting for a month.

Truth is a defence. Consent (I assume you talk of the child pornography thing) cannot be legally given by a minor.

Jailed? Apart from 2, 3 and 4, with 2 and 3 being modified as I said above (incitement to violence), I don't know of anyone being jailed for any of these things?

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199195)

points
1. Not crime to deny holocaust in Anglosphere. conceded.
2 & 3. Rather a fine legal point there between inciting "hate" and "violence". Not conceded.
4. That is a cultural question. Not conceded.
5. Good lawyers in the US can cite (is it the first?) amendment. But In my country (AU) you better have the capacity to fight. Partly conceded.
6. But what is HS doing closing down wikileaks and copyright websites? And don't people get into trouble at airports? Reckon it's happening but we don't get to hear of it. not conceded.

So fines (that can lead to incarceration) can and does happen without violence in 2, 3, 4, 5 (AU) and 6.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199335)

2 & 3. Rather a fine legal point there between inciting "hate" and "violence". Not conceded.

Not so very fine; saying "I hate X" is different from saying "Kill X". Naturally, there's a grey area that's handled case-by-case.

4. That is a cultural question. Not conceded.

How so? A minor can't give consent. And it's generally a pretty despicable activity that harms the child concerned anyway. This is similar to incitement to violence. Your rights end where others' rights begin.

5. Good lawyers in the US can cite (is it the first?) amendment. But In my country (AU) you better have the capacity to fight. Partly conceded.

Not sure of Australia, but I'm yet to hear of anyone going to jail (that being your whole accusation) for that...

6. But what is HS doing closing down wikileaks and copyright websites? And don't people get into trouble at airports? Reckon it's happening but we don't get to hear of it. not conceded.

Nice evidentiary standard there! "Reckon it's happening but we don't get to hear of it"? Then on what basis do you make the statement?

Wikileaks is arguably (and so they argue) a national security threat. Did you really expect them to not take action against someone leaking secret documents? For the record, I do support a citizen's, and the world's, right to know.

Copyright, I completely concede to you. That should be civil, not criminal.

So fines (that can lead to incarceration) can and does happen without violence in 2, 3, 4, 5 (AU) and 6.

2, 3 and 4, I don't agree at all; show me someone who, without incitement to violence, has been charged under incitement laws. Child pornography is not something supportable.

5, I don't know the situation in AU, but could you point to any case you know of which led to incarceration? A fine is not enough. It should be incarceration.

6, partially misplaced (people getting into trouble at airports is not about freedom of speech), partially grey (wikileaks), partially conceded (copyright).

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40199891)

Going back to point 1. The Germans are, of course, devolved Anglosphere.
2&3 Lets leave it as a grey area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derryn_Hinch#Sexual_Relationship_With_Underage_Girl [wikipedia.org] This radio commenter was jailed for (ultimately) the "hate crime" of publicly identifying a pederast.
4. In some cultures (Aboriginal Australian, even 50 years ago) children under 6 or so ran around in public, naked. Look in National Geographic a few decades ago. Finding something to be "pornographic" is largely cultural. (OTOH Finding something to be sexually arousing is personal and partly cultural.) No violence whatsoever. Free speech is publishing images & words.
5. This is the reverse Jailed for free speech about Muslim beliefs. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/20/three-muslims-convicted-gay-hate-leaflets [guardian.co.uk]

Your criticism of evidence is fair. In defense, I usually note things in passing, and forget details, so cannot substantiate anti-muslim activity jailings.

Re:We already have this censorship in Anglosphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40206175)

Not so very fine; saying "I hate X" is different from saying "Kill X". Naturally, there's a grey area that's handled case-by-case.

So because hating *anything* can be taken as a death threat, the government can in principle stop you saying you hate anything, and must handle your right to do so on a case-by-case basis? Are you sure you wouldn't prefer living in China? (Not meaning to incite hatred against the Chinese here, its just that their political system seems very suited to your views).

Your ignorance is no excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40205783)

Why not do a quick google search before displaying your ignorance. Many people have been jailed for "inciting racial/religious hatred" in the Anglosphere (obviously never in the US since any such law would be unconstitutional).

Brendan O'Connell was jailed in Australia for comments relating to Jewish people.

Also in Australia we have

In Australia , a state tribunal has found two pastors guilty of vilification of Muslims under the Victoria Racial and Religious Tolerance Act that went into effect in 2002. The judge sentenced them to publicly apologizing for their statements that Islam was an inherently violent religion and that Islam planned to take over Australia .

They were to promise that they would not repeat the statements anywhere in Australia or on the internet. Failure to comply would incur a penalty of 3 months in jail or $7,000 fine if not done by August 31. The deadline has passed and the pastors are standing firm that they will go to jail before apologizing for what they believed is the truth. In fact, some of the "vilifying statements" that they were charged with were direct quotes from the Muslim Koran.

link [1timothy4-13.com]

Re:Your ignorance is no excuse (1)

barvennon (2643433) | more than 2 years ago | (#40216983)

Thank you. The insult was deserved.

Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40196683)

I wish we could subject North American politicians to a similar policy.

Politics would suddenly become very peaceful and honest, and if they didn't, we'd see a lot less of our politicians (because of the 15-day suspentions).

Re:Politics (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40198731)

peaceful? maybe. honest? no. who defines honesty then? some popular crowdbased 'like' system? sorry but argumentum ad populum is not a good way of deriving truth.

Anonymous Cowards! (1)

jabberwock (10206) | more than 2 years ago | (#40196735)

So I take it that those users who do NOT "provide their official government-issued identification numbers ... and link to a cellphone account ..." will suffer greatly by having to sign up for another fake account every single time they run out of points ... Gosh, that's harsh.

Re:Anonymous Cowards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40197741)

Worse. They have to share an account with others and that sucks. Have you seen some of the ridiculous crap people are posting using my slashdot account?

Re:Anonymous Cowards! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40198627)

Disregard that, I suck cocks!

how low can you go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40198077)

turn it into a game! where huge negative score is desired.. and a week or month long suspension, a badge of honor.

This is so ungood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199509)

But then again we are not plus gooder

Where's the upvotes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40199555)

So you get eighty points, and if you bend over backwards and make yourself a nice and easy target you get twenty more, but all you can do with them is lose them and get into more trouble because of them. That's not a reputation system. It's a "incriminate yourself please, citizen" system. Reputation is as much about the climbing as it is about the falling down. But this thing only makes you go down. Or how many times can you burn another identity for another twenty points then? Just the once? Thought so.

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