Chinese Bloggers

Tian sent me this BBC article on a topic dear to many of our hearts. While it veers off in several directions, from blogging in China to blogging worldwide to whether blogging is in general a positive or negative thing, chances are you’ll want to read it.

In fact, the list of things you cannot talk about in China is almost as long as the things you can, as Cai Chongguo, a Chinese dissident, explains.

“We can’t talk about police or military corruption.

“And of course we can’t say anything about workers or farmer demonstrations. All that’s taboo.”

According to Reporters Sans Frontieres, at least 63 bloggers have been arrested, and most of those are publishing articles outside of the country.

“These are people who are really resisting government oppression.”

So why are authoritarian governments so worried about blogging?

In the same way that spammers can reach millions of people in an easy way, ideas deemed dangerously democratic by many regimes can spread faster than bacteria on a petri-dish.

The Internet in general poses the same threats, but blogs are different because anyone can set one up in a matter of minutes, and with no technical knowledge to speak of. No wonder the CCP is worried.

The Discussion: 10 Comments

A link for inside China (works for me, I hope it works for others).

It’s a shame they don’t have any real information on the situation in China, though; just a couple of quotes and retreads on the Rather/Jordan witchhunts.

April 3, 2005 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

Other Worlds

As I had hoped, my thoughts on Singapore and Hong Kong blogging generated plenty of comments. In fact the debate has thrown up several different issues. Some took particular exception to what I implied about the state of blogging in Hong Kong. I should…

April 4, 2005 @ 2:16 am | Comment

If anybody is interested, here is a link to an article that I wrote last year about Chinese bloggers and the blocking that was brought in, it is a bit old, and my English is pretty bad because I was so out of practice at essay writting, but it’s still an interesting read.

Maybe some new comments would get this old article going somewhere again.

On a side note does anybody have the names of the 63 bloggers who are supposed to have been arrested, I would like to know about them.

I would also be interested if somebody has actually seen any of the items on the the legendary ‘grey list’ of things that you can’t talk about. I’ve ony had snippets of it so far, and all from second hand sources.

Any Xinhua journalists out there want to kiss and tell? (kiss Richard that is, not me, my spouse might object to me kissing random journalists).

April 4, 2005 @ 2:47 am | Comment

So China jails 21 more bloggers than reporters (42)? It’s very hard to get the actual number.

April 4, 2005 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Adam, I agree, it could have been a way better article.

April 4, 2005 @ 5:50 pm | Comment


I’m slowly reporting on the names of all of the imprisioned journalists that I know of or have information on, if you want some of their stories you can look up my blog, all the articles are called Journalist Case File: ….. and I think that I have listed them under the Human rights and personal freedoms section.

I’m not sure exactly what is being used to clasify a journalist here, because a US court recently said that bloggers weren’t given the same protection as journalists when it came to refusing to name the sources for their articles.

I would probably clasify some of these journalists as both bloggers and journalists, so maybe some of them are the same people.

If you asked one person they would say that I am a journalist, and another would say that I am a blogger.

Does my website make me a journalist (in as much as a tabloid writter can be called one)?

April 5, 2005 @ 4:40 am | Comment


Thanks for the information.

If my memory serves, the US precedent was made on the recent Apple case (so disappointed to see Apple goes that far). It’s based on career. So if you do not get paid from your blog, like some government sponsored ‘blogger’, you probably aren’t a journalist.

But what if you are a full-time blogger, like Dan Gillmor?

Let’s wait until Dan gets into trouble ๐Ÿ™‚

April 5, 2005 @ 4:57 am | Comment

Interesting stuff.

Perhaps I should be worried about the content posted on my blog.

Have any of you ever experienced any negative ordeals over your blogging?

April 6, 2005 @ 4:01 am | Comment

My site has been blocked but I have no idea why. According to readers, it has been blocked for a few days and then they could access it again.

April 6, 2005 @ 7:26 am | Comment

I can’t seem to open the bbc site using the default proxy, had to use a program called ultrareach (无界限游览)
you can’t access it’s main site if you need it, so search for it on google (that’s how I got it)

April 6, 2005 @ 10:03 am | Comment

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