Thursday, September 15, 2005

Internet: The Great Democratizer

An article from The Guardian entitled 'Thanks to corporations, instead of democracy we get Baywatch" shows how the internet has the potential to be a democratizing force, but one that can be and is manipulated by the Chinese government. (Hat Tip: Peking Duck)

Many have claimed that thanks to the internet, all walls will come down and the people of the world are now on the fast track to freedom. Thomas Friedman, an admitted technological determinist, has written:
Thanks to satellite dishes, the internet and television... we can now see through, hear through and look through almost every conceivable wall... no one owns the internet, it is totally decentralised, no one can turn it off... China's going to have a free press... Oh, China's leaders don't know it yet, but they are being pushed straight in that direction.

This Guardian article stacks up all the evidence countering Friedman and is certainly worth a read for anyone who doesn't actively follow the news on Chinese censorship of the internet.