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Blogging in China: Freedom of Expression vs Political Censorship in Sexual and Satirical Blogs

January 22, 2009

by Hai Thang
Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA PGN, Vol 2, No 1 (2009) 

Abstract

The growing use of the web log reveals a radical socio-cultural transition and a progressing public sphere in China. In particular, bloggers actively exchange interests, comments and values and have formed a characteristically Chinese blogging culture. The feature of individualism shows that bloggers who insist on freedom of expression and pursue personal ideas can always find a place in the blogosphere. The two examples given in this paper – Muzimei’s sexual diary and Wang Xiaofeng’s satirical blog – demonstrate that individual opinions across the blogosphere have significantly reflected public consensus and implicitly changed political culture. However, the pursuit of freedom of expression in the blogosphere has to struggle with a strong political censorship, negotiate an unstable living space and thus, can only enjoy a limited success. Therefore, critical communication and democratic participation in China still have a long way to go.

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