Is censorship bad for the economy of a country?

Summary:Technorati, the web services company that tracks the blogosphere, has been tracking which languages are being used. And the findings are very interesting, and there are lots of them.

Technorati, the web services company that tracks the blogosphere, has been tracking which languages are being used. And the findings are very interesting, and there are lots of them.

Can you guess which is the most popular language? Here is a post from David Sifry, CEO of Technorati, on the the analysis of the langauages of the global blogosphere:

Something that may come as a surprise (at least to the English-speaking world) is that English isn't the biggest language of the blogosphere. In fact, English isn't even the primary language of one third of all posts that Technorati tracks anymore. Another interesting finding is that the Chinese blogosphere, which grew significantly in 2004 and 2005 (launches of MSN Spaces in Chinese, Bokee.com saw a peak of 25% of all posts in Chinese in November 2005) seems to be slowing down somewhat this year.

From: State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging

I wonder if the Chinese blogosphere slowdown is because of the increasingly overt censorship of Chinese internet users?

Blogging celebrates a rawness, a passion, a shoot-from-hip directness. This isn't going to happen if you have to second-guess yourself when writing, and then think thrice about pushing the "publish" button when you know someone is looking over your shoulder.

Limiting self-expression is never good for a society and those energies generally find a way of alternate expression--sometimes covert, sometimes you have to hide opinion and read "between the lines" as in former Soviet-dominated countries, and other times self-expression bursts out into the streets with an uncertain velocity.

The recent Frontline documentary on the "The Tank Man" was fascinating. It really puts into perspective the cowardly attitudes of some of Silicon Valley's most respected tech giants, towards standing up for what's right. You only have to stand up and do the right thing--you are not standing up to a tank column.

Bush Calls For World to Stand With Young Man Who Braved Tanks The Associated Press, June 5, 1989 (read excerpt »)
What interests me: Does Internet censorship harm an economy? If we say that blogging and all this free expression is so wonderful, and game changing, and vital to communities--then those places that don't have it will be clearly disadvantaged. At some point... Maybe?

Topics: Censorship

About

In May 2004, Tom Foremski became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger. He writes the popular news blog Silicon Valley Watcher--reporting on the business of Silicon Valley.Tom arrived in San Francisco in 1984, and has covered US technology markets for leadi... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.