Arguments for and Against Improving the Freedom of Expression in Social Network Sites in China

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  In the past few years, the social network of China has been developing rapidly with a considerable amount of new social network softwares and users. However, the government have a stringent policy on the freedom of expression in social network. The merits of improving the freedom of social network expression have been thoroughly debated. While some people expect a higher degree of freedom to speak out freely to express real thoughts easily, others concern on the network order. This paper examines both the arguments for and against improving the freedom of expression in social network and provides suggestions based on these arguments.
  A number of network users strongly advocate canceling the shield of sensitive words. Yang’s (2003) research has proved that the shield of sensitive words make some net users more difficult to write down some thoughts, and these users have to use the words which are look or read similar to the sensitive ones. The consequence is that the sensitive words filter system leads to a difficulty on people’s writing and reading but make no sense on network safety or network environment. It is unproper to continue this sensitive words controlling policy for its immense side effects(Financial Times, 22 Match, 2011, p.6).
  Some people including both government officials and common people, however, hold different opinions about filtering sensitive words, claim that several reports have shown that setting a sensitive words filter system is a worldwide approach to a better network environment (Klensin & Khare, 2003). For instance, in America, some words are in the list of the Department of Homeland Security to supervise the country safety. Besides, dirty words on the Internet are forbidden widely around the worl...

... middle of paper ...

...ina will have a rapid development which can please both government and network users.


Yang, G., 2003. The Internet and Civil Society in China: A preliminary assessment. Journal of Contemporary China, 12(36), pp.453-475.

Levmore, S. and Nussbaum, M. C., 2010. The offensive Internet: Speech, privacy, and reputation. New York: Harvard University Press.

Klensin, J. and Khare, R., 2003. U.S. Method of and system for controlling Internet access. Washington DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Ratkiewicz, J., Conover, M., Meiss, M., Gonçalves, B., Flammini, A. and Menczer, F., 2011. Detecting and Tracking Political Abuse in Social Media. In ICWSM.

Xi, R., 2005. The Internet, Freedom of Speech, and Social Transformation: An Examination of the Impact of Cyber-forums on Policy-making in China (Doctoral dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo).

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