19.8.05

Beijing censors online sensation


Chinese authorities have censored websites and blogs after an online self-publicity campaign turned a 28 year old woman into an internet icon. As reported by Reuters 'Sister Furong', (whose real name is Shi Hengxia), made her online debut by posting provocative pictures of herself on the bulletin boards of two Beijing universities that had refused her a place.

Her busty pictures and accompanying text were designed to draw attention to her talent but soon attracted the attention of thousands of internet users across the country. Her campaign became the sbubject of much debate as it went beyond what traditional media control in China would allow.

It wasn't long before the state censors stepped in and forced websites and blogs to remove or bury content or links related to her. Second to the US, China has the largest number of online users and has set up a special internet police force to patrol the net.

So for those wishing to pull off successful self-publicity stunts, the long arm of the law extends into cyberspace.

This level of censorship goes againts the grain and ethos of what the net was originally about and it will be interesting to see if censors try to block content on sites hosted outside China.

Full story from Reuters HERE
The Register HERE
Wired News HERE
The Epoch Times HERE
Taiwan News HERE

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