Chinese Social Media the past four years, China’s government and its far-reaching bureaucracy have embarked on a campaign to take back China’s weibo microblog scene from the masses, who have been using social media services to expose corrupt officials, circulate news, and air their opinions.And it’s working. According to a new study by media researchers based in China and the US, the government’s 176,000 microblogs are trying to control much of the discussion online, by offering official interpretations of public events, while contrary views are ruthlessly deleted by Great Firewall censors.

Wait, I’m confused. I thought the Chinese government was in the process of a massive anti-corruption drive? You would think that they would appreciate the extra intelligence on corruption among officials. Oh, ok, so by “anti-corruption” you mean “an excuse to control more value and purge the party of political rivals?” Ok. got it.

And then there’s this very hurtful conflation:

We in the U.S. are fortunate that our most popular social media site has a completely transparent and open system for what people see in their news feeds. Wait, what.


The opaque practices of social media companies in the U.S. are the same as controlling Chinese government censorship, right?  Well sure, that’s partly right.  But let’s put this another way:

In the U.S. do you have a right to speak your mind in social media and frequent whichever social media apps/sites you like?  Absolutely.  In America, that control is reserved for the individual.

In China do you have control over what you say and what apps and sites you frequent?  No.  That control is held by the government.  They will silence you and censor websites at their discretion.

It’s shameful to conflate the control businesses have over their products, which you choose to use, with governments that control your speech to the point that they will imprison and kill you (and do!) Let’s see if you notice a difference between the two:

America: 2AM, “Why isn’t anyone commenting on my FB post?  Is it showing up in anyone’s feed?”

China: 2AM, *Knock knock*  “Ms. Jiang, you’re coming with us.”

It is shameful to trivialize the threat of violence that the Chinese people constantly live under.  And it confuses people on how to best protect individual value.

Oh, and is there any wonder that the U.S. Senate would like to break down the protections of our speech and gain the same control over speech value that the Chinese government enjoys?