Censorship of Chinese blogs provoking a backlash

A group of prominent lawyers in China has cried foul over censorship by a popular Chinese blog host, Sina.com. In an open letter to the Internet company, they ask: Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you violate our freedom of speech over and over again? Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you feel that it ...

604059_sina_05.jpg
604059_sina_05.jpg

A group of prominent lawyers in China has cried foul over censorship by a popular Chinese blog host, Sina.com. In an open letter to the Internet company, they ask:

Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you violate our freedom of speech over and over again?

Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you feel that it is your right to delete blog posts? Or even your power?

A group of prominent lawyers in China has cried foul over censorship by a popular Chinese blog host, Sina.com. In an open letter to the Internet company, they ask:

Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you violate our freedom of speech over and over again?

Sina.com, please tell us: Why did you feel that it is your right to delete blog posts? Or even your power?

Sina.com, please tell us: Why do you feel that you do not need to negotiate with (or even notify) us before you delete a blog post?

The letter writers are all well-respected advocates for human rights in China. Their decision to publicly confront Sina.com now seems calculated to draw attention and spark a reaction. The Chinese government has long relied on a tacit understanding with large media companies that they self-censor in order to avoid overt government interference; Western companies like Google have agreed to police themselves along the same lines. If the public opposition voiced by the lawyers spreads, media companies in China may find themselves forced to choose between the demands of their customers and their overseers.

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