New research shows China’s online censorship relies on a competitive market where companies vie to offer the best speech-suppressing technology and services.
Interesting article on Chinese censorship. I guess western countries use partly the same methods - to monitor, that is. Must read.
" Specific people could be targeted for more aggressive censorship based on their IP address, how recently they had last posted, and their reputation in the community.
Those conversations also shed light on the perennial mystery of just how many censors there are screening online posts in China. King was told that to keep the government happy a site should employ two or three censors for every 50,000 users. Based on that, he estimates that there are between 50,000 and 75,000 censors working at Internet companies inside China.
Jason Q Ng, a research fellow at the University of Toronto specializing in Chinese censorship, says that King’s look at the options available for censorship is unprecedented. “The authorities seem to recognize that government isn’t best suited for the performance of censorship,” says Ng. “It’s better for private companies to do this not just for innovation but for resources.”
The results from the Harvard group’s experiment in which posts were made to existing sites adds further evidence that although China’s censorship is rarely consistent, it is more targeted than often assumed, says Ng. By carefully choosing the content of posts to create a randomized trial, King’s group showed that censors don’t target complaints about the government. Instead, they’re much more concerned about talk of collective action."