An entire society has adapted itself to living in an environment wherein they can go about their daily lives normally, as long as they do not make themselves or their opinions known to the authorities.
One is inclined to wonder whether Fijians will become similarly inured to the censorship regime imposed by Commodore Frank Bainimarama. Recent reports indicate that the state of emergency will be extended until August at least.
Perhaps the greatest danger of State censorship is its ability to integrate itself into daily life. Provided that its exercise doesn’t affect too many of the people too much of the time, it quickly becomes an environmental factor like mosquitoes, bad weather or the common cold. Just something to be taken in stride.
[This week’s Communications column for the Vanuatu Independent.]
I came across the following exchange (translated from the original Chinese language) on a technical news site today. This series of comments come from Xiaonei, a Chinese blog site, following a post about the recent global economic meltdown. (The writers’ names have been obscured for reasons that will become obvious):
AAA: Well written!! But why can’t I share it [i.e. link it to social media sites like Facebook or LiveJournal]?
BBB: Yeah, I can’t share it either. Must be because it’s today!
000[the author]: Well, I can post it, you guys should be able to share it….
CCC: [a few comments about the actual content of the article]
DDD: I guess Xiaonei is having problems recently. Anything with numbers seems to run into problems.
AAA: Anything with certain numbers runs into problems around this time of year….
EEE: I’m sure this maintenance is perfectly normal, as it is for all other Chinese websites right now. [sarcasm]
BBB: There is no spoon~~! [this in English]
FFF: Wow, nice word choice guys.
Mystified? You wouldn’t be if you had to deal with state censorship on a day to day basis. Today – the day the comments were being posted – marked the beginning of a worldwide observance of the 20th anniversary of the disruption by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army of the pro-Democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.