Studie zur Zensur nutzergenerierter Inhalte in China

First Monday hat eine kurze wissenschaftliche Untersuchung zur Zensur nutzergenerierter Inhalte wie etwa Weblogs in China veröffentlicht:
This study explores an under-studied layer of Chinese Internet censorship: how Chinese Internet companies censor user–generated content, usually by deleting it or preventing its publication. Systematic testing of Chinese blog service providers reveals that domestic censorship is very decentralized with wide variation from company to company. Test results also showed that a great deal of politically sensitive material survives in the Chinese blogosphere, and that chances for its survival can likely be improved with knowledge and strategy. ...

Based on follow–up interviews with people in the Chinese Internet industry who spoke on condition of anonymity, there seem to be a number of reasons for the wide variation in censorship practices. Some companies appear to be able to “get away” with less censorship than others. According to interviewees, this is due to a number of factors: It depends where the company is registered, because (as discussed in Section 3) a Web company is generally answerable to regulators at the city or provincial level in the city or province where the company is registered. It depends on how large and successful a company is, how much public attention its front–page portal receives, and how much competitive pressure the company is under. It also depends on who owns the company, who its investors are, and how much political pressure they are feeling in relationship not only to the Web business concerned but also other technology or media businesses they may have at play in the Chinese market. Finally, interviewees claimed that the amount of censorship carried out by a given BSP [blog service provider] — and the way in which it is implemented — depended on the character, background, interests, and courage of individual editors hired to manage a given Web company’s blog portal.

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