Just before the 25th anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square protests, where 2,600 died in pursuit of leading a democratic revolution in a communist nation the size of five Americas, China shut down Google in the largest-scaled act of censorship in the history of the planet.
Roughly a little less than 1 in 4 humans live in China, accounting for 1.6 billion out of a planet of 7 billion people. Not only were those in China blocked from communicating via Gmail or widgets search, images, or translation services, but anyone from anywhere in the world could not use Google to connect with those in China.
Though we’ve come to expect such actions from the Chinese, the level of intensity appears unprecedented.
It makes you realize how information is controlled and influenced by governments, corporate gatekeepers like Google itself, service providers like Amazon, and mercenary hackers who have their own agendas.
Even in the era of social media, where everyone has access to reach everyone (in theory), the democratization of the Internet can be compromised any time the giant forces want to throw their weight around.
The truth is we rarely have free speech in its purest form. For instance:
· Can you tell your boss to drop dead? Yes, but you’ll be unemployed.
· Can you tell people, in a personal blog, that you have bad things to say about someone? Yes, but you’ll be sued or potentially attacked.
· Can you tell the government what you think of it—and not be jailed? Yes, but if your comments are found online by job or dating prospects, you could be shamed or even discriminated against.
· Sometimes too much information is shared just because it could be. Too often, people are too quick to post things online that they’d never say in person or even by phone.
We are trying to evolve—morally, legally, and capitalistically—with the ever-expanding growth of the digital landscape. But even when we should be concerned by a government like China, we should be more concerned with the near-monopolistic power of tech giants like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter. They influence and control the creation, sharing, selling, and presentation of knowledge, ideals, and information.
Our digital information is still vulnerable to:
· Government censorship
· Data storage limitations or power outages
· Equal access to speedy Net data
· Format or technology becomes outdated
· Corporate bankruptcy
· Those who use the Net for anger release
Concentrated power is always dangerous and right now every bit of data is touched by just a handful of entities that could purposely or accidentally destroy, alter, or delay the transmission of information.
Who should we trust??
Who should we trust??
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014
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