Posted by: eratigan | July 6, 2009

But all the international kids are doing it…

I read two really interesting Financial Times articles about other countries’ blogging communities last week—

In China, they held a gathering to protest the government’s efforts to install a web filtering software on every computer in the country. The scheduled protest turned into a party when the government announced delaying the software launch–interpreted by some as a “total re-evaluation and potential scrapping” of the project.

The article called the government’s backing down from this new level of censorship as more than “a trial of strength between censors and netizens.”

This is the first time I’ve come across the term “netizens.” Am I the only one who has never heard this term before? (Admittedly, I live under a rock.)

How often do American bloggers join together to create something a little more productive than “”? We have Facebook events organizing protests, Huffington Post-like blogs for the stories and gossip newspapers miss…but what results have these freedoms generated? Please, someone correct me and point out a time when a political rally in the United States, led by a proportionally small group of people, garnered the attention of more than those within earshot.

A second article in the FT covers how other Arab nations are finding a outlet to voice political dissent on the Internet

Egyptian Tweeters use their pages to track police brutality, but the freedom stops at the wireless signal—as soon as the people interviewed in the story tried to mobilize, they claimed the police were breathing down their necks. The story of how Twitter made the Iranian protests logistically possible and internationally followed is now a testament to the impact of the Internet in media and politics. It’s also a reminder of how most of us (me, specifically) have been squandering the resource.

But at least it’s an adorable waste



  1. i find eratigan’s first article really interesting.As a Chinese,I have also heard of the forcing action Chinese government recently took about the software issue. Me and my friends were also discussing about that these days. When I saw the news that the government has announced a delay over the enforcement, it was also impressive for me that the “netizens” were pushing harder for their rights to gain freedom of speech in China.

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