Twittering lands Chinese woman behind bars
Last Wednesday, a Chinese woman, Cheng Jianping, from Beijing was sentenced to a year in a labor camp on behalf of a Twitter message that she posted telling her followers to attack the young Japanese nationalists at the Shanghai World Expo. Jianping was charged with “disturbing social order” for the posted Twitter message
This harsh punishment if Jianping clearly shows the Chinese government’s lack of tolerance for social media, as well as self-expression. Twitter, as well as many other social networking sites including Facebook, is actually a blocked website in China. However, there are many China intellectuals that are able t manipulate the government firewall against these websites and utilize Twitter. It is truly unbelievable to think that something that for many of us is a daily hobby/activity, is an act that is absolutely forbidden by other countries due to its expressive nature.
Whenever I hear about stories such as this one, in which online expression is so harshly repressed, it makes me feel thankful to live in a society in which online expression is advocated. Blogs, social networking, and any type of online communication has become a way of life as an American, and I truly believe it has enhanced and enriched our culture. I cannot imagine living in a society in which this type of online expression is not only forbidden, but can be punishable with jail time, as in Jianping’s case.