China’s censoring state has gone after its students studying abroad. The ramifications of this power will be felt everywhere.
A University of Michigan student was recently jailed in China for making tweets criticizing the Chinese government. Given a sentence of six months, the story has been met with widespread outrage. The student posted satirical images of Chinese President Xi Jinping:
A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to 6 months in prison for tweets he posted while he was based in the United States. The freshman had posted images on Twitter that satirized Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The case, overall, represents a dramatic escalation of China’s censorship. It also indicates that its reach is now global, with the ability to track down a Twitter user in the United States and punish him when he returns home.
China Taking Control of the Internet
Worst of all, the Twitter account was anonymous — which shows that China’s online policing has only grown more sophisticated and repressive.
The story does not bode well for other Chinese users on Twitter, especially those who live in mainland China.
If this most-recent case is any sign of what’s to come, opinions critical of China’s handling of cryptocurrencies could soon be met with punishment. China has taken the strict position of “blockchain, not cryptocurrencies” and there is no reason to believe it will be soft on its critics on Twitter and beyond.
Power to Call ‘Scam’ and ‘Unscam’
China has used its censorship powers to even outright ban calling blockchain a scam, as reported in late October. Repeatedly, China has been hostile to real decentralization because it would weaken its censoring control of information.
Chinese Twitter users may soon start to feel increased pressure to comply with the state’s watchful eye. Ultimately, that means cryptocurrency-related news from China will suffer as a result. The net result is an environment of fear which must be fought head-on by lobbying freedom-loving countries to protect free speech at all cost.
What Is Twitter in English?
Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.
How It Started
The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and contractor Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006. In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams, Dorsey, and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets — including Odeo.com and Twitter.com — from the investors and shareholders. Williams fired Glass, who was silent about his part in Twitter’s startup until 2011. Twitter spun off into its own company in April 2007.