Online Filtering: China and “All” Rich Media

July 6, 2017

i read “China’s Bloggers, Filmmakers Feel Chill of Internet Crackdown.” The main idea is that control over Internet content is getting exciting. I noted this point in the “real” news story:’

Over the last month, Chinese regulators have closed celebrity gossip websites, restricted what video people can post and suspended online streaming, all on grounds of inappropriate content.

Yep, an “all” in the headline and an “all” in the text of the story.

I also thought the point that emerges from the alleged statement of an academic whose travel to and from China is likely to become more interesting:

“According to these censorship rules, nothing will make it through, which will do away with audiovisual artistic creation,” Li Yinhe, an academic who studies sexuality at the government-run Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in an online post. Under the government rules, such works as Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen” and Shakespeare’s “Othello” would technically have to be banned for depicting prostitution and overt displays of affection, she said.

What’s the key point? It seems to me that China wants to prevent digital content from eroding what the write up calls via a quote from “an industry association” “socialist values.” Yep, bad. Filtering and controls applied by commercial enterprises, therefore, must be better. If government filters applied by countries other than China may be sort of better than China’s approach.

Hey, gentle reader, this is news. But does “news” exist if one cannot access it online? Perhaps actions designed to limit Surface Web online content will increase the use of encrypted systems such as sites accessible via Tor.

Presumably Thomson Reuters new incubator for smart software and big data will not do any of the filtering thing? On the other hand, my hunch is that Thomson Reuters will filter like the Dickens: From screening ideas to fund to guiding the development trajectories of the lucky folks who get some cash.

Worth watching the publishing giant which has been struggling to generate significant top line growth.

Stephen E Arnold, July 5, 2017


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