Favorites   •   Rants In Our Pants

China’s Free Speech Guarantee: The Annotated Version

In a newly published document, China’s leaders claim they fully support free speech on the Internet. Um, right. We thought their statement could use a few clarifications.

By (@JRRaphael)

July 30, 2010

This just in: The Chinese government supports free speech on the Internet. In fact, it even guarantees its citizens the right to say whatever they want online.

China Internet CensorshipWe know what you must be thinking — and no, this isn’t opposite day. If it were, we’d also be telling you that Apple now encourages an open and uncensored exchange of ideas.

Both scenarios, of course, are equally absurd. But in the case of China, the government is actually pretending its position is real.

The powers-that-be at the People’s Republic published a document this week entitled “The Internet in China.” In the document, the control-loving commies explain their position on free speech in the online age (if by “explain their position,” you mean “blatantly lie about what they really think”).

We figured it might be helpful to annotate the government’s document — you know, to clear up what those crazy kooks are really saying. Our interpretation follows.

Chinese citizens fully enjoy freedom of speech on the Internet.*

* Provided that said speech does not in any way criticize the Chinese government, its actions, or the enjoyment of free speech it generously provides. Also, no references to fortune cookies — we fucking hate those things.

China: Free Speech and the InternetThe Constitution of the People’s Republic of China confers on Chinese citizens the right to free speech. With their right to freedom of speech on the Internet protected by the law, they can voice their opinions in various ways on the Internet.*

* If, however, these “various ways” include anything we don’t like, we reserve the right to superglue together the fingers and/or nads of the offending free-speech practitioners.

Vigorous online ideas exchange is a major characteristic of China’s Internet development, and the huge quantity of BBS posts and blog articles is far beyond that of any other country.*

* All of these BBSs are run by the government, and if your idea of a “vigorous online ideas exchange” includes any sort of porn — yes, that Steve Jobs fellow is right-on with his stance against such society-corrupting smut — we’ll have our porn patrol up your ass before you can say “cooch of a college co-ed.”

China’s websites attach great importance to providing netizens with opinion expression services, with over 80% of them providing electronic bulletin service.*

* To be clear, when we say “providing netizens with opinion expression services,” we mean “forcing them to use our government-patrolled forums.” What — you think we’d actually let our free-speech practicing citizens access Blogger, Wikipedia, or any of those other devilish services?

Censorship KittyIn China, there are over a million BBSs and some 220 million bloggers.*

* There used to be 780 million. We’re… uhh… “not sure” what happened to the rest.

The newly-emerging online services, including blog, microblog, video-sharing and social networking websites, are developing rapidly in China, and provide greater convenience for Chinese citizens to communicate online.*

* We are very, very scary people. Just try saying bad shit about us. Go ahead, just try.

Actively participating in online information communication and content creation, netizens have greatly enriched Internet information and content.*

* We expect to have the Internet fully shut down by next year.

(T-shirt image courtesy zazzle.com; censorship kitty courtesy icanhascheezburger.com)

Get fresh geek humor delivered daily: RSS | E-Mail | Twitter