It so easy to forget how people across the world can view the same topics in surprisingly different ways. I came across a link to a Pew Research Centre publication called “Few in China Complain About Internet Controls.” The article states,

According to findings from the fourth and most recent of a series of surveys about internet use in China from 2000 to 2007, over 80% of respondents say they think the internet should be managed or controlled, and in 2007, almost 85% say they think the government should be responsible for doing it.

This is shocking to me and pretty much the antithesis of how westerners feel about their governments. I don’t believe our governments are any less trustworthy than the Chinese government, so why the radically different attitude? Certainly part of it is cultural. If you believe you’re living in a big communist family and the government will take care of you, why wouldn’t you trust it? And don’t think the government doesn’t use this to its advantage.

during the five years of surveying internet use in China, “media reports about negative aspects of the internet have increased both in scope and number.” Indeed, reports linking the internet to unfortunate or unsavory events abound. Many are personal, heavy with human interest and include names, hometowns, and photos.

Who controls the media? The government, of course. The government’s firewall censors access to the Internet directly, and the government portrays the Internet as a dangerous place using the media, so the people are not only restricted, but they end up restricting themselves.

When you control the media to the extent that you are the media, and you control any access to the Internet, and also actively foster the belief that you’re everyone’s best pal and have only their interests at heart, complete control is not difficult.