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Chinas Quest for Control

by Hannah Sinclair | 07.11.2011
China is the world’s biggest internet market. However, only a few weeks ago a new list of “cultural development guidelines” was implemented which includes tighter restrictions on social media, and penalties for the distribution of “harmful information. On top of this, 39 companies have today agreed to even further censorship of potentially harmful online content.

Chinese Authorities have continually been questioned behind their motives for having such tight guidelines on internet usage, with many speculating that this is just another means of maintaining control over its forever growing population.

China attracted a lot of attention back in 2009 when it famously banned social networking site, Facebook, claiming that it was the means and cause of social unrest and consequently was not healthy for the development of the country. With China having more than 500 million internet users, it is hard to imagine how they have managed to cut out what other societies now accept to be such a norm of everyday life. With the help of a series of censorship policies and human rights violations, China is going to pretty much any length possible in an attempt to control the information its citizens can access.

I can understand where the Chinese authorities are coming from, in the sense that sometimes the internet has been known to do more harm than good. Rumours, gossip and slander have the ability to spread like wild fire within a matter of minutes. But, and this is a very BIG BUT, is China going too far in its quest to supposedly maintain peace and serenity in its nation?? Is Facebook really that dangerous?