Sunday, October 07, 2007

Facebook and China

My friend Erika is in China... and she must have some spare time, because she got tired of me being too cool for facebook, and signed me up. So I guess I'm on facebook now.

More importantly, Erika's blog can be found on the right under the link "until the local government oppresses"... As it turns out, she's long since been oppressed. The Chinese government reads all her email and is careful to shut down any blogs Erika or others may have. Youtube is also highly restricted and many pages are just blocked. Erika can't send email home about her Christian faith, unless she writes them in metaphorical code... generally a thinly veiled allegory will do (dad=pops, Dad=God; et al.).

Until Erika went to China, I didn't realize just how restrictive they are. While I think it's pretty stupid, I also find it incredibly impressive. How do you police the internet? That's just incredible. Especially when you consider the government doesn't just police what digitally leaves China, they police what comes in also.

Here's a wiki on internet censorship in China. It estimates their internet police force at 30,000 people. That still seems like a pretty small number to be as effective as they are at deleting message board posts as quickly as they do. They must have a lot of automation, and be really good at it. Simply impressive.

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