Monday, February 18, 2008

China Shames Itself on the Public Stage

Hey, China! You guys are looking like a bunch of chumps. Why are the Olympics in your country, anyway, with nonsense like this?
Athletes competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, will be allowed to maintain personal blogs for the first time in history—if they can make it through the Great Firewall, that is. The International Olympic Committee made the decision and issued a set of guidelines late last week, saying only that athletes are free to post what they want—with a few caveats. But even as the IOC gives the go-ahead to bloggers, the Chinese government continues to filter and monitor its own Internet traffic, severely limiting bloggers within the country.
This is the Olympics! Shameful.
"The IOC considers blogging... as a legitimate form of personal expression and not a form of journalism," the IOC said in a statement issued on Friday.

Unfortunately, China's Public Security Bureau doesn't usually take such a liberal view of "personal expression." Blogs from common hosts, such as Blogspot and WordPress, have been blocked off and on within China for some time now, so Olympic athletes looking to post about their experiences may not even be able to access their sites without some sort of contingency plan. That's not the only place they'll have to compromise, either—other taboo topics include the local police, government, as well as the likes of Falun Gong, Nazi Germany, and Tiananmen Square.
Time will tell how China will treat the honor of hosting the greatest athletes on Earth.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunate, but not surprising.

    See, Srikacha, B. "Time Is Right for China's Internet Activists" (2003).