I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I’m kind of glad that there is some censorship online. I’m glad that censorship exists. Obviously I don’t want people taking it too far, but there are some things that I just don’t want to ever see.
But it’s always about balance. I think that China might have over done it. The Great Firewall is a little frightening a concept for me who can generally just do whatever I can think of when I want to go online. It cuts people off from Facebook, form looking up their own country’s history and both of those are things that are important to me. The Chinese government is using the tools it has to retain it’s power (Zhang, 2006) and to make sure people don’t find things they find offensive.
These guys have taken the complete polar opposite approach to the Australian government which basically say “If you’ve got a problem let us know and we’ll sort it out.” (ACMA, 2013) They rely on complaints made by their populace rather than actively seeking out things that are offensive or outright dangerous.
And I think there’s a healthy balance to be attained here. The Chinese system is quite oppressive (in my opinion). The Australian system means that people can hide the really scary stuff as long as they don’t spread it around too much publicly. There should really be a middle ground, with censors taking a more active role in blocking things deemed universally offensive while keeping their ears open to the complains of people if something went under their radar. I have no idea how the hell to do this. In 2001 CSIRO investigated automated filters and found that they were severely lacking. Maybe that needs to be investigated again, maybe something else could come up. At the moment though, online censorship is about as good as it’s going to get in Australia.
Lena L. Zhang. “Behind the ‘Great Firewall’: Decoding China’s Internet Media Policies from the Inside.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 12.3 (2006): 271-291
Australian Communications and Media Authority: Internet. http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/About/The-ACMA-story/Regulating
Holy shitballs Batman! Tomorrow is Australia Day! Dear god what a mess this holiday has become. Is it a public holiday? Yes it is! This year it falls on a weekend though, so people feel the need to slack off twice! Why though? Why do we get to slack off twice just for being in a country like Australia?
A looong time ago in a galaxy far far away (sorry, couldn’t resist) there were a bunch of white guys from England who decided this big heap of land in the southern hemisphere was pretty damn great and they made it a country. Every year we celebrate the fact that these arseholes came here and did a bunch of genocide to make the country theirs. As a result of all these Aboriginals dying at the hands of a military they had no hope of competing with the ones who survived and had kids, well, their kids aren’t too happy about that being celebrated.
This bit is about to get a little racist. Bear with me… guys, I get it, it wasn’t fair to come in and kill the natives willy nilly because this country looked cool. I get that. The thing is though… DEAL WITH IT!
All the big players in the world right now are the result of some pretty intense genocide at one point or another. The ones that aren’t are in Africa. They sit in Africa with no food, no water, no medicine and as many STDs as you can find. Europe 1500 years ago was a clusterfuck of everyone trying to kill everyone else! Asia was doing it before the Europeans, proving once again just how bizarre and forward thinking Japanese cultural trends are.
I understand being upset with the fact that my great-grandfather might have gone out and shot yours. I wouldn’t be happy about it. The thing is though, that’s not the point of the holiday. This holiday was created to celebrate just how great out country was, how great it is and how great it can become. The country might have been founded as a result of a bunch of musket fire but that isn’t what people want to remember and definitely not what I would like to celebrate.
This holiday is for everyone who has ever lived in this country. We had a bad start, sure, everyone has but we’re sorry. The Prime Minister said we were sorry. I’m not happy that it ever happened… but it did. People were killed and a country rose from the ashes and that country is pretty great regardless of that fact.
I will be celebrating. I’m going to go down to the beach because Australia has great beaches. I’m going to be with my friends because Australian culture is very social. I’m going to enjoy a good beer because Australians enjoy a good beer. It’s going to be a good Australia day regardless of the historical racism because what kind of kick-arse country came about without a little genocide here and there?