back to article Gone in 30 minutes: Chinese tweets purged by army of censors

The murky world of online self-censorship in China has come under the spotlight again in a new report which estimates that most post deletions on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo occur within the first 30 minutes of appearing. The Velocity of Censorship: High-Fidelity Detection of Microblog Post Deletions, was researched by academics …

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Governments all over the world would love to do be able to do this. How long before many get their way?

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Anonymous Coward

4200 people? Absurd

Why would censors have actual people reading every single message? That is what filter algorithms are for…

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 4200 people? Absurd

Because this is China, where they prefer to keep people employed rather than face a huge unemployment problems. And the cost of employment is still quite cheap there.

There are people everywhere who do small, repetitive tasks that are left undone in other countries, or even have sinecures.

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Gold badge

Re: 4200 people? Absurd

Put yourself in the position of the bloke running it.

If you have loads of people doing it, if something gets through that shouldn't, you can track down the poor serf that missed it and throw them to the wolves for political reeducation.

If you put a system in place to do it automagically and something gets through......(!)

Anyone in that position's primary concern should always be to ensure that there's someone else to blame when there's a fuckup.

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I tried..

..to read the article but it dis

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Slightly OT but...

...anybody have a feel for how much more information you can get into 140 characters using pictograms rather than letters? You might be able to fit a reasonable chunk of a manifesto in.

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Anonymous Coward

(汉语/漢語

华语/華語

chop chop!

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Devil

Cryptography

Isn't this one of the main reasons for which Crytography was invented ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cryptography

Sure, crypting tweets - way to go. So nobody can read them? At all?

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Boffin

Re: Cryptography @AC

It's called SSL, end-to-end encryption is part of that system. Nobody in between should be able to read it, and in fact Twitter *does* support SSL comms.

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Joke

Apparently censorship tweets are censored in china.

<---ironic icon as this aint no joke

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Big Brother

Ministry of Truth

As dystopian images go, 4,200 chinese workers in cubicles combing through a firehose of their fellows content and deleting criticism is pretty strong, i suspect the reality is less than a hundred guys monitoring a watchlist and leaving the posts up for 30 minutes to a) record who reads/reposts them and b) remind the public that they are being watched.

I really cant see this scalling indefinetly, and I hope that when China takes the boot off its collective face they don't burn down all the infrastructure in the process.

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Anonymous Coward

WOW way to silence the populace.

Make them believe that they have freedom of speech/expression, then remove their expressions within mins of making them.

And China wonders why the rest of the world do not trust them?

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Anonymous Coward

You should think hard about what «the rest of the world» means about freedom of speech. Because the Brits disagree with the French, the European with the Americans, the Muslim world with the Christian world, the Sunnis with the Shi'a, the Protestants with the Catholics, the Muslim Malaysians with the non-Muslim Malaysians... The list go on forever. «Freedom of speech» usually means «Opinions that match mine should be expressed, all others silenced»

In daily life, Chinese are pretty free to express their opinions, and are not afraid of doing so. Even if their post is deleted, the police won't come in the morning to kick their door down.

Singling them out is easy because it's fashionable to do so. But talking about it a lot in the news doesn't mean that life there is hell. It's not.

Chinese also do remember (because *their* history books talk about it) that when the British and their allies invaded them, it was not in the name of free speech, habeas corpus, democracy, whatever. It was to force them to accept the opium trade.

Missed opportunity, that.

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Joke

Re: @Anon

How much do you get paid for your propaganda?

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China doesn't care we don't trust them

... But we had better care when they start developing their carriers, aircraft and drones to project their power overseas just as the British used to and the Americans do now. Then we'll all be having more than our tweets deleted!

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Gold badge

Veracity.

...there's no way of telling whether a piece of content is deleted because it was true, or because it wasn't.

Irrelevant. The only reason for it being deleted is that somebody, somewhere didn't want it to be true, whether or not it actually was.

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U2

You too moderate posts, isn't it? A kettle calling pot politically incorrect.

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Sina as a private company has right to set/enforce own content policy

Wait, does the study demonstrates factually Sina's content review system is directly access and managed by the Chinese government?

The fundamental flaw with this type of conclusion assumes that Sina, as a private company, is incapable of setting and enforcing it's own content review policy. How is this any different than likes of cnn.com and npr.org reviewing and removing my comments?

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