China starts censoring the word "Egypt"

By on January 31, 2011, 11:25 PM
China's communist government is trying to make it harder for its citizens to discuss the mass protests currently occurring in Egypt. Chinese officials are wary of violent uprisings in parts of their country, and so have begun blocking the word "Egypt," according to The New York Times.

Over the weekend, keyword searches with the word were blocked on Sina.com and Netease.com, two of the nation's biggest online portals, as well as on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. This didn't stop the discussions completely, of course, but it definitely made it harder to keep them going. In addition to Internet censorship, the Chinese government has also framed the Egyptian protests as a chaotic attempt to plant democracy in countries that are not quite ready for it, via editorials and articles in state-controlled news publications.

The Internet blackout in Egypt began last week: first Twitter was blocked, then Facebook stopped working, and finally the Internet was cut off. Most recently, Egypt's last standing ISP was disabled, putting a final nail in the coffin.

Many dial-up Internet services are being offered to Egyptians from around the world, to help them get around the government's shutdown of the Web. A small group of engineers from Google, Twitter and SayNow have developed a "speak-to-tweet" service that lets anyone send messages over Twitter without an Internet connection.

China's Internet censorship is a terrible thing, but at least the country's citizens have some form of access. Could you imagine if protests in China got so out of hand that the government decided to turn off the Web in the world's most populous country, and the one with the largest Internet population?





User Comments: 29

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Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

Oh god, good thing we in the U.S. have this!

[link]

yowanvista yowanvista said:

What is wrong with those people?

Guest said:

Egyptian people are protesting because their goverment and their president are corrupted.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They're just bonkers the Chinese.

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

I remember my mother banning me from using the Internet-connection.

She did so on full-out communist-based reasons.

God! I could'nt stand it!

fpsgamerJR62 said:

These happenings should make all of us realize that the freedom and other rights that we enjoy and often take for granted are often not available to people living under totalitarian regimes.

Guest said:

They doing it for the saftey of their own citizens. Unlike Egypt..the Chinese will use live ammunition on their own people should there be an uprising of this sort. Or if a citizen get in the way of a tank, someone will come to their home afterward and will disappear never to be seen or heard of again.

Guest said:

I've always been of the opinion that we (the west) should have never eased up on China, and continued treating them as we did the rest of the Communist block until they reverted to a democratic system. I guess principles of freedom and democracy go out the window when there's an opportunity to take advantage of cheap labour and goods.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

The Chinese government always blocks anything related to current civil uprisings.

The Chinese government doesn't want anyone to 'get any ideas' and what better way to achieve that than to block everything about every dissent possible?

The real kicker though is the futility. You'll probably start seeing twitter messages with "3gyp7" instead of Egypt etc... While China has control over most of the Internet in China, it does not control the rest of the world. But even impossible solutions like this one DO cull the number of Chinese who can keep informed though, which I believe is their realistic goal.

Many of the people accept this kind of childish government behavior because they were basically indoctrinated into it. I imagine when people are raised with a very limited set of freedoms, expectations are low and tolerance is high.

Leeky Leeky said:

Many of the people accept this kind of childish government behavior because they were basically indoctrinated into it. I imagine when people are raised with a very limited set of freedoms, expectations are low and tolerance is high.

Reminds me of a programme I recently watched on Sky TV. Basically an Brazilian Doctor who travels everywhere to perform eye operations in third world areas (I forgot the infection that he cures) to help people see again.

He finally got permission to travel to N. Korea, where if we're honest there is sod all health service, and even if there are hospitals, they don't have the equipment needed.

His goal was to treat 3000 (number might be wrong) patients while he was there, and hopefully restore there eye sight. He achieved his aim, and on the last day they were all placed into a big hall, and he unwrapped the bandages to find out if they had sight...

Every single N. Korean person immediately bowed to a giant picture of Kim Jong-Il, thanking him for giving them there eye sight back, and promising to be "better, more hard working" people for it. Not one person thanked the one person who gave them there eyesight back - the Brazilian Doctor!

My point; its not indoctrination, its brain washing.

Jibberish18 said:

Makes sense. It involves protests against the government.....you think China likes that? Hell no. Block the sumbitch with the Great Firewall Of China.

Guest said:

A nanny state.

Chinese government arrogantly treat their "citizens" like little children and think of them as being no more than slave labor.

They are even worse than typical kleptocracies.

If the chinese people\army had any dignity they would toss these vestiges of the past out and have an election.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I feel sorry for the Chinese school kids who got assigned projects/papers about Egypt before this went down.

Leeky Leeky said:

I feel sorry for the Chinese school kids who got assigned projects/papers about Egypt before this went down.

Would be a simple project though... Google says Egypt doesn't exist....

Johny47 said:

Seriously China that is pathetic, I miss the China(and the World the way it was =P) in 2005, something about that year, so nice =)

Guest said:

Did you try? I was just baiduing the word "??"(Egypt) and got 82,000,000 results?in 0.001second.

It is easy to try out. Be responsible! Are we in Egypt now?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Would be a simple project though... Google says Egypt doesn't exist....

Not too far fetched of a theory. Familiar with these?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Reminds me of a programme I recently watched on Sky TV. Basically an Brazilian Doctor who travels everywhere to perform eye operations in third world areas (I forgot the infection that he cures) to help people see again.

He finally got permission to travel to N. Korea, where if we're honest there is sod all health service, and even if there are hospitals, they don't have the equipment needed.

His goal was to treat 3000 (number might be wrong) patients while he was there, and hopefully restore there eye sight. He achieved his aim, and on the last day they were all placed into a big hall, and he unwrapped the bandages to find out if they had sight...

Every single N. Korean person immediately bowed to a giant picture of Kim Jong-Il, thanking him for giving them there eye sight back, and promising to be "better, more hard working" people for it. Not one person thanked the one person who gave them there eyesight back - the Brazilian Doctor!

My point; its not indoctrination, its brain washing.

It was shown on National Geographic Channel in the US, with the name "Inside North Korea" or something like that. Lisa Ling was the reporter, I still remember her on Channel One news that some of the schools in the US got and played every morning (this was back in like 1992).

Leeky Leeky said:

That's the Kiddy mate, couldn't remember if it was Nat Geo, or Discovery, or something else.

I sat astonished watching them all. It was like a army of lemmings with pretty much the entire group of people saying, and doing the exactly the same thing, one after another.

Their "leader" had nothing to do with the miraculous recovery of each persons eye sight, it was the skill of the doctor performing the procedures that gave them it back.

If he was as God like as they portrayed him they wouldn't have even needed the Doctors assistance in the first place - They'd actually have a health service capable of doing something rather than hospitals stripped bare due to having nothing to put inside them.

Our local surgeries had better facilities and equipment/consumables than their "best" hospital.

Bad things can only come from this sort of extreme censorship, and brainwashing.

Guest said:

Seriously China that is pathetic, I miss the China(and the World the way it was =P) in 2005, something about that year, so nice =)

Uh... China (and the rest of the world) was pretty much exactly the same politically in 2005, perhaps marginally worse.

Guest said:

I think you mean ADOPTED a democratic system. The Chinese have NEVER had a democratic system so they could never revert to one. The closest thing to Chinese democracy is the pseudo-rebellious block in Hong Kong, and the 'capitalised' trade zones along it's boarders. China can never and will never be able to divert it's economy to a capitalist system because that would be the complete breakdown and redistribution of all industrial infrastructure owned by the state - which, you guessed it, is ALL of it.

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

I guess principles of freedom and democracy go out the window when there's an opportunity to take advantage of cheap labour and goods.

Ever heard of this little American company called Nike.....

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

The Chinese government always blocks anything related to current civil uprisings.

The Chinese government doesn't want anyone to 'get any ideas' and what better way to achieve that than to block everything about every dissent possible?

The real kicker though is the futility. You'll probably start seeing twitter messages with "3gyp7" instead of Egypt etc... While China has control over most of the Internet in China, it does not control the rest of the world. But even impossible solutions like this one DO cull the number of Chinese who can keep informed though, which I believe is their realistic goal.

Many of the people accept this kind of childish government behavior because they were basically indoctrinated into it. I imagine when people are raised with a very limited set of freedoms, expectations are low and tolerance is high.

The point everybody seems to be missing in this thread is this; the Chinese people have the government that they (thought?) wanted. They got rid of their emperor, and installed the current communist regime. They all thought that communism was a great idea, walked around dressed alike in their little brown suits, and spouted a bunch of crap, taken from the "Sayings of Chairman Mao". Now they're repressed, boo hoo! I say tough s***, "you asked for it, you got it, Toyota"!

There is an exact parallel occurring in Egypt at the moment. The forces of Hezbollah, and other extremist Muslim groups are stirring the pot, of this you can be quite certain. We're supposed to feel bad because these tactics have been employed by the CIA in the past. I said this before, and I'll say it again "better to be the bat, than the ball" Or perhaps this, "it's a dirty, thankless, job, but somebody's got to do it"! Better us than the Taliban. When the fires die down, the Egyptian people will have as little or less control of their own destiny than they they do now.

Point being, there does exist the possibility of a Islamic Theocracy rising out of the ashes of the current leadership.

I said this before also, the people at large are sheep, or perhaps bugs, who will travel toward the brightest light, no matter who started the fire, irregardless if they will get burned by it.

Viva la revolucion...! And always remember, "the last person that speaks, gets credit for speaking the truth". (quote me)

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

OK, the level of censorship that is currently being invoked in this forum, is becoming oppressive, at the very least. I sit here typing a response for a half hour, make an edit, and the preceding post is gone.

This is doubly disturbing, since the deleted post, while off topic, and perhaps anti American, really didn't contain profanity or involve threats of any kind.

Since the topic of this thread is a hot button issue, and you allow "guest" posting, I fail to see where you don't see any off this coming.

It seems to be a current trend to post controversial topics, and then reach for the "delete button" when the predicted controversy appears.

I assume that this will be pulled for being of topic, and in disagreement with management, so I'll come back to topic by saying this; "Those darn Chinese Communists, are all about censorship, that's for sure".

krayzie said:

i dont see any anit chinese posts been taken down either..

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

This is doubly disturbing, since the deleted post, while off topic, and perhaps anti American, really didn't contain profanity or involve threats of any kind.

Technically it was anti-Americant.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Technically it was anti-Americant.
Oh sure, laugh now, but if it was "anti Russiant", you'd be preaching a different sermon.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

captaincranky said:

Technically it was anti-Americant.
Oh sure, laugh now, but if it was "anti Russiant", you'd be preaching a different sermon.

Hey man, we're all Chinese.

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