Blocked on Weibo: What Gets Suppressed... | Jason Q. Ng | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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November 5, 2013
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Talks at Google
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Blocked on Weibo: What Gets Suppressed... | Jason Q. Ng | Talks at Google

TL;DR

This talk discusses the methods and effects of online censorship in China, highlighting the ability of the government to control the flow of information and censor sensitive content.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the significance of the search blocks on Sina Weibo that the speaker mentions?

Search blocks on Sina Weibo allow the government to control what information users can access. If certain keywords related to sensitive topics are blocked, users will receive a message stating that the content violates Sina's rules. This inhibits people from finding information and limits the spread of sensitive content.

Q: How do internet users evade censorship on Chinese social media?

Internet users in China have developed various tactics to evade censorship, such as using coded language, embedding text within images, and using humor and satire to indirectly discuss sensitive topics. They also utilize semi-public or private social media platforms like WeChat to communicate more freely.

Q: How effective is internet censorship in China?

While internet users in China have found ways to evade censorship, the government still has significant control over information flow. The effectiveness of censorship can be seen in cases where sensitive content is blocked, individuals are arrested for their online activities, and censorship impacts the donations received by organizations such as the Red Cross.

Q: Is metadata used by the Chinese government to track individuals?

While there is no information specifically about metadata usage, it is known that the government closely monitors individuals and their online activities. Social media accounts and messaging services can be surveilled and accessed by authorities, leading to individuals being targeted and detained.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker discusses his interest in online issues and internet censorship in China, leading to an analysis of internet censorship in the country.

  • He focuses on the various tactics used by the Chinese government to control access to information, such as IP blocking, website blacklisting, and search blocking on social media site Sina Weibo.

  • The speaker also explores the use of keywords and how internet users try to evade censorship through coded language and images.

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