I've written about Chinese blog censorship before, most recently in December. In August I wrote an Op-Ed for the Asian Wall Street Journal, titled The Chinese Censorship that Foreigners Don't See, which was also based on my Chinese blog-censorship research project funded by the University of Hong Kong. Now First Monday has published my full academic paper, Chinese Censorship 2.0: How companies censor bloggers.
Most international discussion of Chinese Internet censorship focuses on only one layer: the filtering or "blocking" of websites. My paper aims to shed light "on another part of China’s Internet censorship system: The process of domestic Web site censorship by which domestically hosted content is deleted completely or prevented from being published in the first place. The whole process is carried out almost entirely by employees of Internet companies, not by “Internet police” or other government officials. This study focuses specifically on one small piece of this domestic censorship system: How blog service providers (BSPs) censor blogs written by their Chinese users."
"This study explores an under-studied layer of Chinese Internet censorship: how Chinese Internet companies censor user–generated content, usually by deleting it or preventing its publication. Systematic testing of Chinese blog service providers reveals that domestic censorship is very decentralized with wide variation from company to company. Test results also showed that a great deal of politically sensitive material survives in the Chinese blogosphere, and that chances for its survival can likely be improved with knowledge and strategy. The study concludes that choices and actions by private individuals and companies can have a significant impact on the overall balance of freedom and control in the Chinese blogosphere."
For more, read the whole thing. Let me know what you think.