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Monday, August 17, 2015

WEB CENSORSHIP Cracks in great firewall of China

Couple of articles highlighting the limitations of online censorship in even the world's most OTT censorship regime, useful for illustrating the wider point of the difficulty in enforcing film censorship in the web 2.0 era, and the convergence of film/video and social media. Gauntlett's point on the blurring of audience and producer is also evident from these examples.

First up, a 1 min sex clip, shot in a clothing store changing room, has caused government apoplexy but been viewed millions of times, sparked a selfie craze outside the store, and highlighted the limits of government/censor power.
China’s young people have spoken. And what they want is sex http://gu.com/p/4am8j

Uniqlo sex video: film shot in Beijing store goes viral and angers government


Secondly, China has backed high end, tentpole level film production, producing films to take on US hegemony domestically and internationally which propagandise Communist Party rule and Chinese nationalism to some extent.

The latest example, Cairo, looks at a 1943 Allied conference in Cairo which saw China proclaimed as one of four global powers (with Russia, UK and USA). Chairman Mao features prominently. There's just one problem...

He wasn't there - his nationalist opponent was, and it would be years before the Communists seized power.

This has sparked what Stuart Hall would recognise as widespread 'oppositional reading', with this counter-hegemonic response even extending to some of the state media, and creating a mocking meme reflected in satirical tee-shirts and online Weibo (Chinese Facebook/Twitter equivalent) posts placing Gollum and suchlike at the conference.

'The text' becomes an absurd notion when audience interaction created such a multi-layered meta-text, warping and contesting the encoded ideology of the original.

Both these examples also showcase the increasing social and cultural power flexed by a large youth generation much more tech-savvy than the older generation who dominate state power and policy.

Bloggers ridicule Chinese film placing Mao Zedong at key wartime conference


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