Major blog goodness by MIS3538 Fall 2011 class

Internet Censorship In Southeast Asia

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Have you ever been forbidden of speaking out of your mind? How did you feel about it? Freedom of speech is a concept we all know well. Living in America allows us to speak our minds and express ourselves without fear of censorship. With the power of the Internet and social networks, we can simply log on to any site and bash how bad the government is doing, or setup a protest with a simple Facebook fan page. However, there are some countries around the world where something as big as the Internet is being placed under censorship and government control. Even after years of technological advance, these residents are still not allowed to use the Internet or social networks. They are censored by the governments, kings, and presidents;  every post and blog is looked at. Every site they visit is first reviewed, they have to watch out what they write and become responsible for it.


One of the article that I read on WSJ was titled Thailand Tightens Web’s Leash by James Hookway; he talked about the Thailand’s control on social media sites such as Youtube, Facebook or Twitter. King Bhumbihol is not allowing people to post defamatory comments regarding the monarchy and if found, they charge with a crime. Even websites in Thailand are responsible for their content. Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who is webmaster, was arrested for being too slow to delete antiroyal messages at her web form (less than 20 minutes) . And if she is convicted, she will be put in jail for 20 years.  This is happening not only in Thailand, but also other countries like China and Vietnam. China itself censors search results from Google. Forbidding social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google are not only effect on the users, but also effect on the economy and the investors. Global companies are now starting to take into account a country’s policy on internet censorship because they feel that as the result of this, their profits and ability to expand maybe affected.


Those governments look at sites like Facebook as a way for media to go against them. Much of the world witnessed the power of social media against government in Egypt. These governments fear many more of these protests will happen and they are uneasy and worried about it, so they keep protecting themselves by forbidding freedom of speech.


Do you think we are going to see more revolutions like what happened Egypt in the near future? Should global companies in these countries or even our government get involved?


Thanks for reading my post!



14 Responses to Internet Censorship In Southeast Asia

  • I think the governments doing these things are completely wrong. It’s one thing to slap someone on the wrist for saying something about a political figure or something along those lines, but 20 years in jail for being slow to remove a post/page? That’s outrageous. In my opinion, these countries don’t understand that social media is a great way for people to stay connected among other benefits. I think those countries need to look in to installing/coding filters into their social media if they are that concerned about things being said on the sites.

  • I believe any government or institution censoring online use is wrong. They are clearly trying to hide things from their citizens. The world has seen over the past six months what can happen when the world is opened up to young people via the internet. I think there are more riots and movement towards freedom in the middle east coming. Allowing people to freely go online enables them to find the truth about major issues that can lead them to revolting against archaic laws and practices. Social media will continue to play a huge part in political power plays for the rest of its relevancy in popular culture.

  • First of all i do not like to talk about politic that much because it not my interesting topic but what i want to say it that every countries have different way to do things. For example, Chinese govt do not allow their people to use google. So people in Mainland of China have to redirect to Hong Kong Google.The reason i think that China do not want people to use social media is because it might hurt the countries image. So they have to block it. However, i do think that people should get some freedom but the problem is that people in china they do not want to talk about it then why should we worry about it. It not our problem so let China government deal with it

  • Censoring Internet is wrong. By censoring Internet, these governments are taking away the rights of their people. To answer your question, yes I think we will see more of what happened in Egypt. Eventually, people are going to find alternative ways get around these governments’ tricks. As people get more access to the Internet, they will start protesting if they thing they are being oppressed. However, I do no think that we (US) should get involved in this issue since our hands are already full with so many things. We get to deal with our own problems now.

  • I feel that there may be more social movements in the future similar to those seen in Egypt, whether for the better or the worse. While it can be used as a tool to unite people for the greater good, the riots in London were much of a same build up through social media, but turned to destruction and rioting instead of being something productive. Though we have the right to these outlets, and no one should have these rights deprives, we must strive to use this right responsibly.

  • The interest can be a productive or destructive tool towards society, depending on how people are using it. However, I believe that citizens should have a right to voice their opinions on issues, and the internet is the fastest and simplest resource to get their thoughts out there. Like others have said above, everyone has their own perspective and ideology on what should be allowed and what shouldn’t be, depending on their lifestyle and background.

  • Well, I am from China. So for this topic I am totally familier with the situation. And people in my country really hate it!!!!! My friends always complaint about the behavior of government for prohibit social networking site. The reason is very clear, the government wants to control the speech of the public because the power of social media. But I think what the government did is useless, because even thought they block the Facebook, Twitter, Chinese internet designer can create a site just like Facebook and Twitter, in China, they are Renren and Weibo. People still can communicate on these sites. And no matter what, everyone deserve the right of freedom of speech!

  • “Chiranuch Premchaiporn, who is webmaster, was arrested for being too slow to delete antiroyal messages at her web form (less than 20 minutes)” WOW this is scary. I don’t really think china will have some kind of a revolution. They are really controlled by the government and I never been there so I don’t really know how Chinese people feel about their government. Companies should not get involved it is definitely wrong what some governments are doing but people in those countries should stand up and try to do something. I know it easy to say but that is the only solution.

  • It’s never a good thing to stifle creativity and self-expression. When governments try to control things like self-expression, thoughts and expressions, they are crossing the line.

  • I think that government censorship of anything is wrong but our government getting involved is a bit much. It seems like Americans are often quick to try to fix anything that we find injust. In some cases, that is great but I think in this one we would be overstepping our boundaries.

  • I think that more revolutions like Egypt will happen because people have seen what has happened and Egypt and know that they too, can achieve something of the same magnitude. The Government should not have the right to keep these people for expressing their thoughts because then that just gives them more of a reason to revolt and express themselves.

  • I think that this is an extremely controversial topic and of course, I believe everyone should have freedom of speech. It is unfortunate and those governments are wrong for doing what they are doing. But I don’t believe that our government should get involved. I don’t think the U.S. government should get involved in everything across the world we don’t believe in. We shouldn’t push our beliefs on other countries and try and fix everything we think is broken.

  • Internet censorship might sound archaic in some countries but sometimes it is better to have censorship. Freedom of speech can lead to unlawful things. Just in Facebook some one had put an advertisement for a hit on her husband. Freedom of the internet has caused many controversy in internet child porn. With censorship, the children that are targeted by sexual predators can be prevented. Another thing with freedom of internet, it can create allegations to those that are innocent of a crime. If social media is just as it is, just for reconnecting with families and friends for recreation, it should be enough.

  • Every country or government has their right to run the way they want to and if it is something like the internet they are censoring, so be it. I don’t think America should have anything to do with it.

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