Variation in Blogging Censorship in China

A recent report on user-generated content on social media and blogging platforms in China reveals that there is variation in censorship levels across fifteen different blogging platforms according to a paper by Berkman affiliate Rebecca MacKinnon.

The report, “China’s Censorship 2.0: How Chinese Companies Censor Bloggers,” states that “a great deal of politically sensitive material survives in the Chinese blogosphere, and chances for survival can likely be improved with knowledge and strategy."

According to the study, censorship methods vary from company to company, despite strict government guidelines. Rebecca MacKinnon, lead author of the research, wrote in the report that “companies do have at least some ability to make strategic choices.”

Previous studies of Chinese Internet censorship have focused primarily on filtration and China’s sophisticated Internet filtration system, known as the “Great Firewall.”

MacKinnon notes that tech-savvy users can circumvent China’s firewall.