We know that internet publishing and usage in China follows different patterns than elsewhere. And reading this article on cctv.com just re-confirmed this fact.
Bolianshe, or the United Commune of Blogs, is the country’s first real-name blog site. There are three ways to join, an invitation from the webmaster, a recommendation from another member, or applying with proof of identity.
Bolianshe is trying to build up a platform of communication for Chinese intellectuals, which is a niche market. It is believed that such real-name websites are good. But in 99% of the cases, it is anonymity that makes the Internet wonderful.
Keeping in mind the urge to control how the internet is used in China, I do not find it strange that one is looking into the possibilities of a real-name blogger registration system. But in this case, it really is a matter of figures, and the figures are huge:
Official statistics show China had about 20 million bloggers at the end of last year. Over 3 million are active writers. Experts say whether real-name registration sites can be accepted and welcomed can only be decided by the bloggers themselves.
That last sentence does it. Where in the past the people were following the rules they were obliged to follow, now we see them striving for their own individuality, where blogging is the expression of that.
I guess that there are still some organizations that seek a way to get control over the ever growing amount of bloggers in China. But as internet boundaries are much harder to put up and proxy servers easily bypass any restrictions, the power is with the people and not with the controllers.
There might be a future for this – and not in China alone – in order to generate some kind of verification system, confirming that you are who you say you are…
How do you see this development?