Is Chinese style tech censorship coming to Reddit?
Tencent is the first Asian tech company to surpass the $500 billion market value.
What appears like business as usual, this move by Tencent may have strong free speech implications. China is notorious for its sophisticated censorship regime, the Great Firewall of China. Ironically, Reddit is blocked under the Great Firewall of China. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Tencent is no casual participant on China’s internet. It’s actually one of the chief actors behind China’s internet censorship campaign. The Great Firewall was not exclusively a creation of the Chinese State. It takes two to tango in order to make China’s censorship program function.
Adrian Shabaz, the Research Director for Technology and Democracy at Freedom House clears up some misconceptions about the Great Firewall:
We tend to think of Great Firewall as this huge thing the state has built. In reality, it’s the companies in charge of weeding out unfavorable information online. There’s a whole host of regulations, one new law passed on average every two days, about what content can and cannot appear online. Then it falls to Chinese companies to comply with this widespread censorship regime set by the communist party itself.
Reddit is a platform that claims to be a champion of free speech. Unfortunately, Reddit has taken numerous actions in the past that have put its mission into question. In 2016, Breitbart showcased several instances that Reddit censored Conservative content.
Tencent’s recent move to buy a significant stake in Reddit should raise even more concerns among those on the Right side of the political spectrum. A potential partnership with a company that is connected to one of the most robust censorship apparatuses in the world would only strengthen Reddit’s censorship campaigns.
This certainly does not bode well for free speech on social media, which is already being curtailed by Big Tech giants. Adding Chinese style censorship into the mix could prove disastrous for Internet freedoms.
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Did Bernie Sanders Just Endorse a Neocon Regime Change Foreign Policy?
Is Bernie Sanders the anti-war candidate that many non-interventionists are making him out to be?
Journalists Jacob Crosse and Barry Grey presented some interesting observations about Sanders’ foreign policy views.
Sanders criticized the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani in January and also stressed his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
During the Iowa presidential debate, Sanders loudly boasted, “I not only voted against that war, I helped lead the effort against that war.”
However, Sanders changed his tune when chatting with the New York Times.
The answers the Sanders campaign gave the Times showed its flexibility when it comes to foreign policy.
In other words, the Sanders campaign signaled to the military and intelligence apparatus that Sanders won’t present a threat to their interests and may actually carry out their interventionist agenda.
One question in the survey that the Times sent the Sanders campaign stuck out above the rest.
The third survey question asked, “Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?”
The Sanders campaign responded, “Yes.”
Based on this response, Sanders’ is signaling that he’s willing to continue Bush-era policies of “preemptive war.”
Like Obama, Sanders’ opposition to the Iraq War was a matter of politics rather than a principled opposition to regime change wars.
His campaign was also asked, “Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?”
Sanders responded, “Yes.”
Some of the wars that the U.S. carried out in the name of “human rights” have been the Bosnian war and the bombing of Serbia in the 1990s along with the aerial campaign against Libya in 2011 and the Civil War launched in Syria.
All in all, Sanders’ pro-peace/non-interventionist image is at best window dressing.
Under a Sanders presidency, the interventionist status quo will likely stay in place.
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