Book Launch: "Blocked on Weibo"

Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON.

Time: 6:00-8:00pm

Registration: Admission to the event is free, however guests must register in advance.
Visit the event website to register.

Jason Q. Ng is the Google Policy Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab as well as a research consultant for China Digital Times. China has long been a site of severe Internet censorship. The country has its own versions of Facebook and Twitter in order to monitor and control free expression in the digital sphere, and citizens who push the boundaries of acceptable content often face detention by Chinese authorities.

Ng has written a book titled Blocked on Weibo, charting suppressed search terms on China’s alternative to Facebook, Sina Weibo. This project began as a blog and quickly developed into a Blocked on Weibo, which not only lists more than 150 forbidden terms but also attempts to explain why the Chinese government would feel the need to censor these keywords. Such terms range from “tank,” referencing the Tiananmen Square Massacre, to the names of government officials who might be subject to public criticism.

Blocked on Weibo is “an invaluable guide to sensitive topics in modern day China […] [exposing] the fascinating fissures between the idealized society that Chinese authorities dream of having and the actual one that Chinese netizens are creating each day.” Hosted by The Citizen Lab, this event is a fantastic opportunity to learn about obstacles to free expression in China. Professor Ron Deibert, Director of Canada Centre for Global Security and the Citizen Lab, will give an introduction, after which Jason Ng will be speaking about his book and internet censorship in the country more generally.