Blogging, with Chinese characteristics

By Bryan • blog • 24 Oct 2006

Breaking into my Mongolian scribblings to add this bit of nastiness which is being considered by Beijing.

China has yet to take an official stand on whether to require bloggers to register under their real names, but a group that works closely with Beijing on Internet policy is recommending that such a system be implemented.

Huang Chengqing, secretary general of the Internet Society of China, told the official Chinese news agency Xinhua that a real-name system for bloggers was necessary for China to standardize and develop its blog industry. The society, an affiliate of China’s Ministry of Information Industry, is working on such a system for the Chinese government.

Just when you thought restrictions on blogging and internet usage couldn’t become any more draconian, the CCP goes the extra mile. I feel very lucky that I’m able to use my own name freely not only in my posts, but as the title of my website. I have no need to fear reprisals for something I wrote or discuss, or more importantly, something I didn’t think I wrote or discussed. If I were a Chinese blogger the possibility of suffering reprisals over something that I wasn’t aware of would most likely blog up my writings. In addition, such name registrations also raises questions over blog security and political smearing. Blogs are generally protected by a simple encryption system, a system easily bypassed for those intent on creating ‘political’ problems for rivals.

Furthermore, this piece highlights another trend I’ve noticed in Party controlled journalism, their development of justification of such policies in attempts to glaze the genuine reasons (which well all are hopefully aware of). For instance, in this article, justification of real name registration was based upon the need to ‘standardize’ and ‘develop’ the Chinese blog industry. Unfortunately for this argument, the Chinese blog phenomenon is developing quite well on its own, and I would further argue that one of the founding principles of blogging is the ‘non-standardization’ of the whole entity. How can one possibly justify standardizing a phenomonen that is composed of millions of individual voices? Oh wait, that’s the whole idea…standardize Chinese blogging in an attempt to create a massive Party mouth piece. First, the right to argue openly and anonymously on internet forums was revoked, and now it appears the simplicity and joy of blogging is no longer respected. A sad day indeed for those in the Chinese blogging world.

*When I read about stuff like this, I just keep thinking to myself…we gave this government the Olympics? It is just a waterbedding environment in China. Progress maybe made in some areas, but the problems just get pushed over into another sphere.

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