Woah. Thank $DEITY for $REDACTED Freedom of the Press
Most of the media would have been dragged away, yipee-ka-yay style, over Fukushima...
China's Cyberspace Administration has taken down 50 web sites for reporting “rumours” on the Tianjin explosions. State organ Xinhua now reports that 112 people are confirmed dead, with another 95 missing, after last week's explosions in a dangerous good warehouse. Chinese media that have reported different versions of events …
For one thing, you can publicly disagree with privately owned news media and not get hauled off to a re-education camp.
No, you just get doxed by a howling Facebook social-justice vigilante mob who then spamflood your employer to get you sacked, picket your house and ruin your life for the hideous crime of political incorrectness.
It is easy to make fun of China for <evil voice>censorship</evil voice> but the US press and blogs could do with some of this. Not that I'd want the government in charge of it, but if there was some sort of independent body of journalistic ethics (assuming there are any ethical journalists left to form such a body) that would slap down those using spin or just outright lying I wouldn't consider it a bad thing.
Maybe such a time never really existed except in the movies, but I think back to those old 40s black and white movies where Cary Grant or Katharine Hepburn or someone was the hard hitting go-getter journalist and the hero and/or love interest of the story. If you cast a leading actor as a journalist today, they'd be cast as a misanthrope who writes an advice column. No way they'd be a hero taking down the rich and powerful except by rudest accident - it would fail the believability test!
"but if there was some sort of independent body of journalistic ethics (assuming there are any ethical journalists left to form such a body) that would slap down those using spin or just outright lying I wouldn't consider it a bad thing."
Well, there go any campaigns for government offices then... Mind you, the takedown of Faux News would probably be welcomed; either that or they'd be forced to put, "This show is for entertainment only," at the bottom of the screen on all their broadcasts.
So the outright lies and deliberate attempts to rabble rouse by MSNBC and CNN get a pass? I find them to be more entertainment than news any day.
For all you out there in La La Land who didn't know, trustworthy "Journalism" is dead now and MSNBC, Disney, and NBC are at the forefront of why. Why "report" the news when you can just make it up or even worse, make it happen? Creating drama can create not only website traffic but cause bullets to fly. One day, they'll get caught inciting a riot... Ooops, too late. They are caught up in a vicious cycle of "likes" being more important than truth.
All news media have an agenda now that colors the whole tone of their reporting. Used to be "Just the facts, Ma'am. Now it's "Does it follow the template we got from Obama or Hillary?"
Everything you see on TV can be manipulated in too many ways to consider. If you want the "real" news you have to look at it all in any form or source.
And most importantly, you have to make up YOUR OWN MIND!
... there would have been no press on this disaster. Anyone talking about it would never be heard from again. However, I do suspect the "missing" is a bit higher than being reported and in light of the de-contamination effort getting underway, the death toll might be higher also. Probably this is keep a panic from happening as there's also reports of "unknown" chemicals that were stored there.. IOW, they've lightened up control of the press a bit, but not allowing a US style media frenzy with all that brings on.
It would hardly be "panic" to want to get the hell away from an area that's had chemicals that are known to be toxic spread all around it, probably along with unknown substances that could be even worse. Unfortunately for the residents of this area, the top priority of the Chinese government is protecting the Communist Party, not their lives, and news media are regarded as a means to that end. I think we all know that the official version of this will be a lower body count than the reality, the storage company bosses up against a brick wall, and a few low-level officials locked up for turning a blind eye. Nothing (much) to see here, everything under control, move along...
"In light of the de-contamination effort getting underway, the death toll might be higher also."
Given that the chinese have repeatedly said that the numbers they've given are the _confirmed_ ones, that's highly likely.
What they don't want is estimates which are wildly inaccurate as it just causes more panic and people descending on the vicinity searching for relatives or demanding answers from harried officials that they simply can't give (as happened to some extent with MH370).
According to my Chinese wife the rumours erased include -
Thousands of people missing (you can see at least 3 completely destroyed apartment blocks in drone footage, one of which I calculate was home to 800 people)
Firemen not told that water would react with the toxic chemicals ("tweet" and "retweet" from fireman deleted over 50,000 times).
Photos and stories of ALL the local hospitals being filled with dead bodies.
It is for times like this that the Chinese government pay somewhere north of one million employees to monitor and clean up internet forums.
I have had a similar post to this vanish from a non Chinese forum, so government hackers may also be out targeting bad news hosted elsewhere.
I have had a similar post to this vanish from a non Chinese forum, so government hackers may also be out targeting bad news hosted elsewhere.
With that level of dedication, one would think this "company" was actually a black site doing interesting research.
Having recently returned from a long stay in China, it is really quite unnerving the extent to which one's posts on various Chinese social media are monitored and quietly removed if anything remotely uncomfortable for some interpretation of the CCP's position is mentioned. My Chinese relatives even got to the stage of asking me not to post anything other than innocuous jokey messages about nothing serious to stop me from becoming too much of a "regular" for the censors. To give just two examples: Posts that commented on a friend's photos of Tibetan Buddhist sites, where I just mentioned the pre-Buddhist religion of Bon were removed within 90 seconds of me posting them, and a comment about the UK election results in answer to a question from a student of mine in China were also nuked after about 2 minutes. Two examples out of about 20 in 5 years of living in China where I made a conscious decision to avoid posting anything *I* thought was too contentious. Obviously, I thought the censors had thicker skin than they actually did.
I can also back up the claims about casualties that the previous poster was told about from chatting with my family there and from other close friends, though we have almost started to speak in code when using the phone or video calls about it.
It's so hard to calibrate the paranoia when an authoritarian system responds to something like this. One story I heard on the BBC World Service was that a bunch of journalists researching the company whose warehouse it was tried to get on the Chinese company registration database. I guess trying to find who owns them, or how big they are. Only to find a notice on that website that it was down due to being switched off to stop the spread of unhelpful information.
I'm not sure whether that means it's owned by someone or some entity that would be embarrassing, or if this was just the kneejerk reaction of "hide everything!"
It must be hard to run a company in a country where vital business information resources can just disappear for a while due to an embarrassing media story in a different city from you.
Ian, you sounded convincing until you claimed that your similar post on a site outside China was deleted by 'government hackers'.
We 'government hackers' had no interest in you, you do not name the site. I would be suggesting that controllers where you posted were removing your post because it was stupid.
Do not worry, we 'government hackers' will be keeping as close eye on you and your every brain fart from now as we can.
We do not know what you posted, but you can be assured, we wil be tracking it down very soon.
Chinese official in press conference on BBC news explaining they had detected cyanide at two locations but won't say where they are because cyanide is poisonous.
Yep, that is going to reassure everyone that the authorities are keeping people out of harm's way, and not cause mass panic at all.
I haven't seen any of the unofficial figures. Last I read, though, stated they had found ~700tonnes of sodium cyanide. The site had a limit of 10... And if it is exposed & it rains, it can react to release hydrogen cyanide as a gas...
Yes, they REALLY want to prevent possible panic. That could potentially kill as many as the gas.
In the West after a similar explosion $company would "find" their stock control on Pastebin. $company says "Look! This proves that we were hacked and it only shows 7 tons of cyanide". This is shortly followed by "After thorough investigation we found that an evil hacker set the coffee machine to overheat so we are not to blame and won't be compensating anyone".
Or something like that, YMMV. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster
What is an antivaxer or a vax? I know of the old computer systems, but do not know what you mean, so cannot give you a vote either way.
By "entrepreneurial state", do you mean a state where some state-owned businesses have become entrepreneurial (as in China as exemplar), a state in which 'enterpreneurs' are given free rides, have excessive influence, and are used as instruments of state power (as in the USA as exemplar), or something else?
I ask for reasons of study. Hate it when I do not understand terms.
well aren't we the all-for-the-free-flow-of-information one?
Not that I am a fan of what I hear about Faux, seems to be a parade of idiocy. Neither am I anything but amazed by young-Earth creationists (I think that is the term). From my reading, I see that the idea has also caught on very strongly among the sillier and more extreme Jews and Muslims.
Shut them down? Why? If someone wants to push that stupid idea, good luck to them, in the end, the whole idea can only lead to one conclusion: the creator has composed the geological record as a big lie, for a test of faith. The latter argument is unlikely to work on non-brainwashed people who see this flaw.
Even if it weren't for that, they should be free to push their silly idea, as long as they don't try to make it the only one.
Plenty of 'biblical creationists' accept the rough true ages of the Earth, Solar system, the universe, and accept the geological record.
I suspect that such people are the true subject of your 'shut them down'. Fact is, you can neither prove nor disprove the existence of a creator. Even Dawkins recently posited aliens.
If you want to find a model of information control that exceeds that of most totalitarian systems, try posting things, in polite terms, that they disagree with on The Guardian's inaptly named 'Comment is Free'. You will quickly find it impossible to post anything except rubbish that you don't care about, anyway.
Then again, that is clearly how you would like the world to work.
From your post, which reeks of new-left totalitarianism, I suppose you must be, or dream of being one of their censors, sorry, I mean 'moderators'.
Wonder how and where they recruit them?
Pretty sure they don't pay.
Personally, I don't work for free, except in exceptional cases. Being an on-line bully for a strange collection of causes (you clearly would agree with all of them) does not qualify.
I agree with the OPs who are saying that the death toll from the explosion(s?) must be higher than is being stated.
BTW, this is the same as the post I withdrew, except the bit about 'biblical creationism', and mistaking the AC for stardust.
It is hard to avoid buying made-in-China things, in Japan, too.
Sometimes, I try to find the made-in-Japan of a product I like, particularly in niche markets it is becoming impossible.
You can still find video players, monitors, audio made here.
Just checking through my bag, my Casio electronic dictionary that I have to use for posting here sometimes is made in China, so is the 3DS.
I already checked my mini video camcorder, designed in Japan, made in China, like the other two.
Sure, some of the chips are made here, but I am not so sure about the 3DS.
Many have noted that it is, in part, to do with exporting environmental problems.
I see the BBC have a theory that water being used to put out the fire reacted with the calcium carbide releasing acetylene gas which exploded - in turn detonating ammonium nitrate also stored on site.
Either acetylene or ammonium nitrate could easily explain the violence of the explosions.
If you put together the various snippets appearing on different news agencies, it appears that much of the firefighting effort - at least initially - was from bands of commercial contractors, rather than state / municipal authorities. The implication seems to be that they weren't all that well trained, and also that they have been ignored in the official death statistics. Similarly there are reports that details of deaths among the police have been suppressed - one Chinese (Taiwan?) site reported a surviving officer as saying his complete station had been wiped out, with none being reported as missing or dead.
Another question is what this is going to do to the flow of goods out of China - Tianjin is an important port for Peking and I suspect this is going to really hurt their export logistics
"Ammonium Nitrate can't melt steel beams!"
it can do a good job of bending them in an explosion
and chemical fires can easily bend and warp them. Believe me, I've been there and seen it several times on fires magnitudes smaller than this. Don't forget that the explosion is only part of the story - its was a by-product of the very large fire
as a postscipt to my last post, if that second explosion was due to ammonium nitrate, the the indicated "21 tonnes of TNT" equivalent blast equates to around 180-210 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.
Thats roughly ten 20" containers of the stuff
not really a lot considering the size of the depot. Of course we don't know how closely they would have been parked - or what else was there.
"China's National Supercomputer Centre at Tianjin is two kilometres from the blast zone. The Centre's Tianhe-1 supercomputer was taken offline on the day of the blast. It's unclear if it is has returned to work, but with the three kilometre exclusion zone in operation it seems set to remain offline for some time."
Holy fuck! Er, this is far too "coincidental". Yeah, I'm kinda paranoid that way. So sue me.
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