Jimmy Wales – Subversão na internet: ferramentas contra a censura

Jimmy Wales – Subversão na internet: ferramentas contra a censura


Much of what goes on, particularly
with young people on the Internet, is quite subversive,
and I mean that in a good way. So I’ll just give one example.
In China, one of the forbidden topics
in China is Liu Xiaobo. Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize
for his work advocating for democracy in China – obviously, very upsetting
to the Chinese government -, and so the Wikipedia page for Liu Xiaobo
has traditionally always been blocked. He is under house arrest,
so he is not allowed to go… He was not allowed to go and
pick up the Nobel Peace Prize. And one of the things that happened when
they held the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, one of the very clever PR things
that they did was… they had an empty chair
for him on stage, and this picture of the empty chair
went around the world. It became a very, very famous photo: “here’s
someone who had won the Nobel Peace Prize and he wasn’t even allowed to come
and receive the award”. And what happened inside China is very
interesting. For a few days after that, if you had that photo
and you posted that photo, it would be automatically detected
and your page would be blocked, and you could possibly lose your account
and, you know, things would happen. And so what people were doing is,
they were mocking the government by taking a photo of any chair,
an empty chair, and making that their
profile picture. And so, when you are in a situation where
an authoritarian government is being laughed at, than things
will change eventually. Now of course, I say eventually
because they still can – and they do – go out and arrest people and put them in jail,
and they do horrible things to people, but I am very confident
that in the long run it becomes less and less
tenable to continue down this path. Even now. So if we go back to the era
of the Soviet Union, for example, or North Korea today – actually,
it was thought it was possible to actually control what information
people had access to. In China today, they know,
every educated person in China knows that Liu Xiaobo won the Nobel Peace Prize.
They are not trying to hide that fact. The purpose of the censorship is to have
an impact on the domestic conversation. They know that even though everybody
knows it, they also know that you can’t talk about it
on the Internet, not openly. You can use a nickname or you can hint
or you can say, you know, a lot of things, but you can’t openly post his name
because what will happen is your blog will be taken down,
or your Twitter account – not Twitter, but your Weibo is the equivalent,
it will be closed and etc. etc. And so that’s already
a step forward, right? That people know what’s going on,
they are aware. Not as aware as I would like them
to be, but they are generally aware. And once they are aware they realize
how silly it is. They look and they say “wow, I used to use Wikipedia for
my homework, and suddenly it is gone. That wasn’t subversive,
I was doing my homework about, you know, I was writing about tigers or
something completely uncontroversial. And this is stupid.
The government is dumb for doing this”. And once people think the government
is dumb, things do happen eventually.

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