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More Bloggers Held for Political Posts June 20, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Journalism, News, Social Media, Trends.
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If the number of arrests is a metric for assessing the growing impact of blogging on political life, then 2007 was indeed significant. The World Information Access Report says a record number of bloggers was arrested last year with Egypt, Iran and China the most dangerous places to blog about political life. These countries account for more than half of all the blogger arrests.

Since 2003, 64 citizens unaffiliated with news organizations have been arrested for their blogging activities. The report says these bloggers expose bureaucratic corruption or human rights abuses and express opinions about political figures and public policy options.

They run foul of the law for posting reports and photos from social protests, writing about political artwork, or sharing images and texts deemed to have violated cultural norms.

The Committee to Protect Journalists meanwhile says China remains the world’s leading jailer of journalists and writers. Beijing also exerts control over its fast-growing Internet sector, seeking to weed out porn and subversive websites.

China’s censorship of the Web has drawn flak from European Union telecoms chief Viviane Reding who says the Beijing Olympics are a chance for Beijing to show its commitment to free flow of information. Ms Reding, who is the European Commissioner for Information Society and Media does not think blocking of sites for political reasons is the right way to proceed.

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