MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Are you being blocked?

It has been a busy week for Evgeny Morozov on his blog, Net Effects. Seriously, lots of interesting blogs that make you go hummm.

The blog that made me sit back and think was one that dealt with Web filtering.

In this blog, Morozov quotes a newspaper article from Ontario’s Epoch Times on May 20, 2009.  In the article, author Matthew Little, describes a library in Mississauga, ON where a man was blocked from Chinese websites with content on the repression of the Tibetans and controversies during the 2008 Olympics. As these web sites should not be blocked, the man complained to the library manager and the issue was later brought to the city of Mississauga’s IT department.

The city blocked web sites that were in Chinese and did not have a translation for the IT employees to read. To help filter more Chinese web sites the city bought a web filtering package from a Chinese company. However the package had any web sites that rivaled the Chinese regime blocked. The city’s IT department was too lazy to change the security level for a non-communist county that allows free speech and does not censor political rivals.

This made me think. If the Chinese government is able to block and censor web sites that challenge its ideals, could this happen in Canada. We have experienced large media convergences in Canada in recent years with many internet suppliers owned by some of the large newspapers and broadcast companies. Could these few owners start blocking our web sites?

How do we know if our open communication and free speech is not being censored by big brother?

What do you think?




May 21, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. That’s intersting how a city can choose to ban certain websites. It makes you wonder what other websites are being banned as well as what criterias make a website ban worthy.

    After reading Jennifer’s post, it made me think would they do this in Canada? Well actually it is done right here in our backyard. School boards across the province ban different sites from being accessed from their servers. Sites as Facebook are inaccessible from school computers. With social media becoming vibrant in our society and a new way of doing, how is banning social media sites helping the students. Instead of banning sites, high school should take the time to teach students the positive aspects of social media and how to use these tools to their full potential. By doing so, students would graduate high school with an upper hand on the new technology.

    Comment by eskimeau | May 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. Just a reminder to all of you,
    is an organization working to ensure your concerns are addressed. I strongly encourage you to check it out.

    Comment by doctor d | June 17, 2009 | Reply

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