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China Commentary
Tracking Military, Geopolitical & Strategic trends to determine China's impact Regionally Globally and Domestically
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China's web censors are quick, but take breaks for the evening news

China's web censors are quick, but take breaks for the evening news | China Commentary | Scoop.it

Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblogging platform, has seen tremendous growth since launching in 2010, with the site's 300 million users combining to post 70,000 messages per minute. This growth has forced the Chinese government to ramp up its censorship tactics, though its precise methods have thus far remained a mystery. Researchers in the US, however, have now attempted to pull back the curtain on the country's operations, as part of a new study released this week.

Without any firm details on China's censorship practices, Rice University's Dan Wallach and his team of researchers instead attempted to reverse-engineer the government's techniques by tracking Weibo posts as they appeared in real-time. After following activity from 3,500 users over a 15-day period, they found that about 13 percent of all posts had been deleted. Some, of course, had been deleted by users themselves, but Wallach's real interest lay in those erased by third parties — identifiable by a unique "permission denied" message that would appear after deletion. It's these "system deletions," according to the authors, that provide the most accurate idea of how China's censorship machine actually operates.

DOSID's insight:

"They estimate that the country's system would require about 1,400 censors at any given moment. Assuming each employee works an eight-hour shift, that would result in a total of 4,200 workers on the government's payroll on a given day

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Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row

Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row | China Commentary | Scoop.it
BEIJING--In an apparent attempt to quell the uproar over censorship, Chinese leader Xi Jinping expressed displeasure toward the media control division and said he would not punish journalists who disobeyed its latest order, sources said.

 

Xi, general secretary of the Communist Party of China, appears to have given top priority to preventing the row from expanding further and threatening his new leadership installed in November.

 

Arguments for free speech erupted after the reform-oriented Southern Weekly based in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, was forced to rewrite its New Year edition before it was published on Jan. 3.

 

The propaganda department then instructed all major newspapers to toe the party line concerning the censorship of the Southern Weekly.

 

At a meeting in Zhongnanhai in Beijing on the night of Jan. 9, Xi, visibly displeased, asked if the media control division was not adding to confusion, sources familiar with the discussions said.

DOSID's insight:

Xi is trying hard to position himself as the 'Fair Reformer".

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