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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

December 14, 2005

Written by C.N.

Secret Blogs in China

The New York Times has an article that mentions the personal blog of a woman in China who goes by the name “Mu Mu” and who describes herself as a “dance girl and [communist] party member.” However, the article focuses more generally on how her blog represents a new wave of personal blogs that are pushing the limits of freedom of expression in China:

Chinese Web logs have existed since early in this decade, but the form has exploded in recent months, challenging China’s ever vigilant online censors and giving flesh to the kind of free-spoken civil society whose emergence the government has long been determined to prevent or at least tightly control. . . .

So far, Chinese authorities have mostly relied on Internet service providers to police the Web logs. Commentary that is too provocative or directly critical of the government is often blocked by the provider. Sometimes the sites are swamped by opposing comment — many believe by official censors — that is more favorable to the government. Blogs are sometimes shut down altogether, temporarily or permanently. . . .

The new wave of blogging took off earlier this year. In the past, a few pioneers of the form stood out, but now huge communities of bloggers are springing up around the country, with many of them promoting one another’s online offerings, books, music or, as in Mu Mu’s case, a running, highly ironic commentary about sexuality, intellect and political identity.

China’s government may think that it is currently possible to control and censor blogs like this, and they may be right — for now. But one — or any government entity — can only control freedom of expression for so long. I predict that the envelope of democratic expression will be pushed further and further, until something will have to give.

Will the Information Age and the Internet produce another Tianamen Square-style government crackdown in the virtual world? Stay tuned to find out . . .


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Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Secret Blogs in China" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/12/secret-blogs-in-china/> ().

Short URL: http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/?p=173