For shame, China! Western media is going wild--and well it should-- over China's pulling their silk curtain down on YouTube. Seems the Chinese government's offended by YouTube proliferation of videos showing Chinese government-led mistreatment of Tibetans expressing their public displeasure with China's grip on Tibet.
In the Iron Curtain days, it was relatively easy for Russia to cut its people off (and vice versa) from news and opportunity to exchange information with people outside the Big Bear. After all, they merely had to ban books, radio broadcasts, and (later on) television. And they could (and often did, I understand) bug phone calls placed to numbers outside Russia.
But the times have been a changin' since those days. China may try to draw down its silken veil over its activities and tie it tight with a knot, but that won't prevent outsiders from getting--even seeing--the truth. Those YouTube videos will find their way by one means or another to the curious eyes of those who want to see it. Wherever they are. May be dangerous, but it will be done. This is a terrific example of old world efforts to stifle communication in the Web 2.0 world. Won't work for long.
I remember feeling perversely flattered when the satellite broadcasts of our leadership MainEvent programs were censored in China, making it impossible for people we knew there to participate live. They simply got the video cassettes after the fact and sat around in groups creating their own discussion days later. Not perfect, but it rendered the censorship meaningless. Frankly, I never did know what the Chinese thought was so terrible about our showcasing business and thought leaders to the world. It couldn't have been the fact that we make a point of showcasing a large proportion of women leaders; after all, China has promoted women in leadership roles for a long time, way before the Western world figured out the importance of Mao's comment that women "hold up have the sky."
What's clear is that they are way off base on this one. And in some ways they are inciting even more furor from the outside world over their treatment of Tibet and its people than if they'd left well enough YouTube watching alone.
Just when we thought we had a good conversation going with the Chinese, we get this misguided behavior.
Roll up the silk curtain, please. Besides, we can see through it, anyway.