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China’s “Spin Doctors!” Changing Opinions One Post at a Time

Not the 90s band that you all love, but we’re talking about opinion swayers or spinners in China. When there’s a negative opinion on something that the government cares about, there are paid “spin doctors” who write something on the contrary, and then another, and hopefully another. 10,000 writers are supposedly employed, barely. They’re paid .50 a post to write something to help bend a public opinion. The net is huge in China, perhaps 50 Chinese cents per post all day can translate into some heavy yuan! Not really though, since 50 Chinese cents is 7 US cents. (bbcuk – spin doctors)

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In North Korea, a Quiet Computer Evolution

The outside perception of North Korea is understandably pretty grim. Backward, agrarian, repressive, war-like, hard-line communist, these are all terms which can legitimately be used to describe North Korea, at least if the political refugees who have escaped and the foreign journalists allowed to enter the country are to be believed. Yet there is, apparently, another side to North Korea, a technological side, which does have some interaction with the outside world through the internet. And it is a technological side which has actually done business with countries in the Middle East and other nations in Asia. North Korean technology companies have even, reportedly, developed video games for Japanese gaming giants Nintendo and Sony. At the link, you’ll be able...

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World Cup and Twitter

Saying that history repeats itself is hardly a cliche. It’s an unpredictable trend. The same aphorism doubly applies to the internet. We all remembered what happened back in March after the Tohoku Earthquake. There was a great wave of sympathy directed towards Japan’s plight accompanied with a swell of hate. For whatever reason, people thought that a natural disaster was karmic retribution for World War II and deemed it socially acceptable to voice those thoughts online. As result, a UCLA political science major and a fourteen year old witnessed the internets collective moral fury firsthand. Such also seems to be the case for the Women’s World Cup. The Women’s team tied 2-2 on July 17th, 2011, but dominated with penalty...

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Uncensored Internet in China? Yeah, But Only For Foreigners. Maybe.

It does sound like a double standard. China’s government is notorious for its rigorous, sometimes harsh, internet censorship standards. You have likely heard stories about how access to anti-Chinese-government web content and to foreign websites like Facebook and Twitter is monitored and usually blocked. The “fairness” of China’s restrictive internet access policies has always rested in the fact that everyone in the country, both Chinese citizens and foreigners, was affected. However, the city of Chongqing, one of China’s four government direct-controlled municipalities, now plans to offer unrestricted internet access as a way of attracting foreign companies and investment to its Cloud Computing Special Zone. This “zone” is currently under construction, and is intended to be a showcase and development center...

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