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How to get past China

March 13, 2011

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen how social media has managed to subvert censorship across the Middle East. When journalists have been threatened and banned, news keeps coming through via channels such as Twitter (@acarvin is a good one to follow), Facebook, Youtube and other mediums. With so much social media hype going on, it seems to be the perfect time to hold SXSW 2011 – The South by Southwest Interactive, Music and Film Festival in Austin, Texas – which is running from 11 to 20 March.

Tonight The Guardian, which is covering it, wrote a nice little info piece illustrating the unfathomable power of social media.
With so much information all around us, it’s easy to forget that censorship is everywhere. The focus has been on the Middle East, but countries like China are also perpetually bound under fierce censorship laws.

According to The Guardian, Raymond Li, the head of BBC China, says he circumvents the communist state’s censors by publishing on Twitter-esque sites, where regulation is less strict.

“Foreign media like us have been persistently blocked by China for a long time. Instead people are using proxy software or social media sites to come to us,” he said.

“By using microblogging sites the censorship of media seems to be less. By publishing news and content on microblog sites you can publish stuff you wouldn’t get published in public media spaces, but you have to be careful and skillful.”

Indeed, microblogging has once again proven to be a tool for everyday people to get past censorship and get their voices heard – but care and skill should definitely come hand in hand with microblogging – because with a lack of regulation could come a lot of bullsh*t.

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