Myself, I sometimes think that I’d gladly censor what’s coming out from the tubes — what you get access to can be so depressing and conflicting with our own beliefs.
No place shows the contradictions of this contest on as grand a scale as China does. The country with the most Internet users and the fastest-growing connected population is also the world’s most ambitious censor. Of the 3 billion Internet users on the planet, 20 percent live in China (10 percent live in the U.S.). The government maintains the “Great Firewall” to block unacceptable content, including foreign news sites. An estimated 2 million censors police the Internet and the activities of users. Yet a 2014 BBC poll found that 76 percent of Chinese reported feeling free from government surveillance. This was the highest rate of the 17 countries surveyed.