Chinese censors are tightening the rules about the distribution of news within China. According to The Times, news organisations, such as Reuters, mist first get their material approved by the Chinese authorities prior to distribution. Restricting access to news is fairly typical in authoritarian states or in countries running under dictatorships. After all if you were to let your people know about everything that was going on, you would risk losing your power. However, the Chinese authorities haven’t yet reckoned with the Internet. True, they have tried to restrict access and yes, getting unrestricted access to the Internet in China isn’t that easy. But it is possible and millions of young Chinese people have the ability to read news from around the world, without the intervention of the official censors. Because of this, the attempts by the Chinese authorities to restrict access to official sources of news look more like the beginnings of the last gasps of a dying system. It is yet another example of how the Internet is responsible for changing our relationships with governments. Most governments around the world, including the UK and the USA, have yet to understand how the Internet will reduce their power in significant ways.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+