China’s ruling party plans to further clamp down on social media to nip in the bud more credence for the ‘Jasmine revolution’.
The Chinese government wants to eradicate “harmful information” from spreading across the web and will punish dissidents spouting anti-Totalitarian rhetoric. Unfortunately for China, it can do its best to censor free speech but the nature of the web is often ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’.
In fact, that is precisely why China has announced it needs to come down like a ton of bricks on free speech activists and dissidents. According to Bloomberg, social media websites like Weibo are tough for the monitoring rooms to control. China plans to use the full might of its many party members to quash what it feels is unfavourable talk online.
Critics think China might be shooting itself in the foot. By forcing social media users into maintaining a quiet and uncontroversial line, China’s 195 million microbloggers could quickly become as boring as existing Twitter users in the UK, who describe themselves as Social Media Lover, Dad, Coffee Enthusiast.
There is a danger that major players in the telecoms space might also get burnt. Companies like Tencent and Sina Corp largely rely on the web – and to seek to sanitise it to the tastes of the ruling elite could easily have a knock-on effect for stocks and shares.
Bloomberg says that the Party also wants to crack down on “overly entertaining” TV programmes during primetime, too.
Instead the channels must “promote more fine literary and artistic works”. It looks like the ruling party is trying to advocate pro-Nationalist, traditional Chinese cultural programming, dressed up as an effort to restore a lost national identity..
The Westernisation of China is perceived as harmful to the ruling party. We guess that’s why reality and talent shows will only be allowed to run for 90 minutes in the prime time hours between 7.30pm and 10pm. Otherwise they’ll have to run news and culture shows instead.
Which, actually, isn’t such a bad idea. Someone tell Channel 4!