Monday, July 25, 2011

Tragic Train Accident In China - New Media Trumps Beijing Censoship For Now

Chinese are very nationalistic these days.  Well, they have a right to be proud of some of the achievements that their government has given the people.  At the same time, the government has yet to grant the people basic rights that we enjoy here in the West.  However, the Internet has given some a voice.  And collectively that voice will not be denied.

And it is too late for Beijing to shut it up.  This is evident in the "cover-up" style of censorship regarding its high-speed train accident that Beijing enjoyed before everyone there had access to the Internet from their PC or smartphones.  One example of a new tool is Weibo, a popular Twitter copy, has given the youth access to an avenue to vent that their parents did not have.  

And these some of the users, let me tell you, are opinionated to the point of being rude.  But I think that's a great thing.  As the Chinese state media continued to direct information, journalists were not satisfied and that spilled onto the social networks.  

Mistrust ensued.  For instance, the account of official deaths varied.  This has given users cause to question the different version of official information on the accident.  

Transparency has been promised by a government machine as being as the Chinese government, additional openness is likely to come on a generational basis rather than quick reforms.  And should things become difficult for the central government, mass protest across the country or something, a brutal yanking of the Internet isn't certainly an option that hardliners would not hesitate to push for.

Source:  Reuters.

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