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Conference Papers Year : 2017

A Confucian Look at Internet Censorship in China

Yubo Kou
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Bryan Semaan
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Bonnie Nardi
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China’s Internet censorship practices are sophisticated and pervasive. Academic research and media reports have examined the Chinese government’s varied, expansive methods of censorship and Chinese citizens’ techniques of subverting them, but little attention has been paid to understanding how Chinese citizens think about censorship in their everyday lives. We conducted a qualitative study of Chinese mainland citizens who circumvented censorship. We found seemingly contradictory attitudes and practices among our participants. They showed proficiency at bypassing censorship, but were sometimes comfortable with censored information. They were willing to share sensitive information with others, but saw the benefits of limiting the public’s access to information under certain circumstances. We examine how the complex, nuanced attitudes toward censorship resonate with the classic teachings of Confucianism, China’s traditional philosophical and ethical system.
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Dates and versions

hal-01676171 , version 1 (05-01-2018)


Attribution - CC BY 4.0



Yubo Kou, Bryan Semaan, Bonnie Nardi. A Confucian Look at Internet Censorship in China. 16th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2017, Bombay, India. pp.377-398, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-67744-6_25⟩. ⟨hal-01676171⟩
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