Sunday, July 18, 2010

Conquering the Great Firewall of China

No visit to Shanghai would be complete without conquering the Great Firewall of China. It's arguably more challenging - and more satisfying - than ascending the Eiffel Tower, climbing Uluru or scaling Everest.

China's censorship regime comes in for plenty of well-deserved criticism, but the motivation behind the censorship is not always properly understood. While there is some moralistic blocking of adult content, the main aim of the censorship is to avoid social instability. It is less about covering up corruption (though of course it does cover it up) than preventing widespread outrage and public riots that would be very difficult to handle in a country of 1.5 billion people.

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