Guardian blocked in China


Telling people why they were censored defeats much of the purpose of censoring. By making the rules vague and somewhat arbitrary, organizations are more likely to hold back on items in fear that they might step over the ill-defined line. But if you tell them why, then they will go up as close to the line as they can. Or they can cite your rules as being oppressive (which you can deny if they are always kept secret or if you use a token uncensored counter-example).


Well it works for the Guardian, they never give reasons for their moderation either.

providing an ongoing example of how an individual can challenge the state(s) might not be what Xi Jinping wanted advertised domestically

It’s their “No Charlie Brooker; no entry” policy.

I can respect that.

I always have to wonder if (in addition to their definite censorship-as-political-tool and messing-with-foreign-web-services-as-mercantilist-tool policies) the Faceless Censorship Bureaucrats ever do something baffling just to watch western Kremlinologists scratch their heads and speculate on what Beijing could be up to now.

I know that if I were a censorship bureaucrat, I’d be tempted just to mess with observers from time to time…

I think you’ve also got to allow for a certain amount of incompetence: accidental blocking of the wrong site, blocking of sites for very poorly-thought-out reasons, and ass-covering evasion or stubbornness in the face of any questions about why some apparently pointless decision was made.

Not necessarily in this case of course, but it’s a phenomenon inseparable from the very idea of politically-mandated censorship. Or politically-mandated anything, really.

It’s probably just Colossus getting all bitchy again. Fucking AI, man, not worth the hassle.

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