China has a very Orwellian reason for banning typing "1984" on social media, while allowing people to read Nineteen Eighty-Four

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/01/13/laobaixing.html

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It should be pointed out, in the novel, it’s the Proles who are mostly left to their own devices while the upper(ish) class is the one getting ruthlessly scanned and controlled.

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through western society, too: think of how kids are banned from movies that depict nudity, but there are no age-limits on touring museums where the same nudity is on display

They’re not the same and if you can’t see the difference, that’s why you’ll never be a Supreme Court judge :wink:.

Also, at least in the U.S., the guidelines for movie rating is not dictated by the government. And in European countries, my understanding is movie ratings don’t treat it so seriously.

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Weirdly, I’m not allowed to type [REDACTED] or [REDACTED], but I can type [REDACTED] instead… bollocks, I think that they are on to me…

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MOlST!
 

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Wouldn’t you love to know what’s on the NSA’s list?

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FTF our Chinese viewers.

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But the masses are, in fact – amongst other things – a kind of herd that is subject to epidemics of unrest. That is exactly why we have Brexit and Turmp.

It’s like Tommy Lee Jones’s MIB character says, “a person is smart; people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals”. Just because China’s reaction is completely wrong (and makes the problem worse), that doesn’t mean we should deny the reality they’re reacting to. We should be terrified of people functioning as a herd; nothing is more dangerous.

What vindicates Western freedom of speech isn’t that letting people form cults or incite hatred is harmless. It’s that by letting that tiger off its leash, you force reason and empathy and suchlike to win the argument on merit. Free speech is only a good if people are healthily afraid of its dark side.

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image

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Propaganda is likewise focused on Party members, because, in the Party’s view, they are the only people who are politically aware and therefore need to be indoctrinated. The Party views the proles as cretins incapable of holding political opinions.

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So how does someone, practicing their English (or other language that uses Arabic numbers), mention in social media that they were born in 1984?

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Simple. “I was born five years before The Thing That Did Not Happen.”

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Good question. Actually China widely uses Arabic numbers*, so this would not merely be an issue affecting other language users. According to Chinese Wikipedia, the novel’s Chinese title is 一九八四, literally one nine eight four. Maybe that is blocked, but not “1984.”

*Much like Roman Numerals, traditional Chinese style number notation (must be a more concise way to say that) may not be very handy for math. For example, here is the number 1984 as one would completely properly write and speak it in Chinese, 一千九百八十四. That translates, character by character, to one thousand nine hundred eight ten four. Not very handy for multiplication.

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IKR?
Who thought it was a good idea to let them vote anyway?
:laughing:

A Chinese friend and former colleague (went to one of the top high schools in her province, then to Cambridge, and has lived in the UK since the age of 18) has said that she was taught about Tiananmen Square in school, but according to the official Chinese government line- that it started out as peaceful student protests, then workers joined in and the protests became violent before the government cracked down. Apparently they do not deny that something happened and people were killed, though they almost certainly downplay the numbers.

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Tell any ethnic or religious minority about this “lighter touch”. Please.

Speaking of Orwell…

&

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When I was a kid, I knew age-restricted rating on films with nudity was a sinister plot to keep the proles in line. But no one would listen. /s

(To be clear, I concur with the general point, but found that example too funny to pass up.)

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I recently became aware of this tv adaptation of a theatrical adaptation of the the novel. It’s available on Amazon and YouTube, and makes for some interesting viewing. Peter Cushing is great as Winston Smith, and Donald Pleasance is an inspired Syme.

Enjoy if possible.

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