Saturday, February 03, 2007

Big Brother is watching: from across the sea

As most of you are probably aware (and no doubt utilizing one or more), there are hit counters that can be added to your blog, website etc. that keep tabs on the number of visitors to your site. Some are more feature-rich than others, but most will track how many people have spent time on your blog and usually from whence they came. That's one of the the more enjoyable aspects of blogging: knowing that others are out there sharing their own personal stories, opinions, rants etc. from every corner of this world and that in spite of our differences, we are all connected in some small way, albeit via the wonderful, worldwide web.

The information from these statistic and hit counters isn't always accurate (for various reasons) but you can usually tell from which country a reader is from, so it was with great interest that I noticed some very strange occurrences that began with my post "Chinese shoot Tibetans crossing border" (10/24/06). I would occasionally get hits from China (as many as I would from other foreign countries), but those hits increased, somewhat, after that post. I found it odd, but dismissed the whole strangeness until I published my next post "Chinese court sentences dissident" (10/25/06) when the hits from China increased considerably. Since then, I have observed that the hits from China increase and decrease substantially, dependent upon the content of the post. I hadn't written anything critical about China or communism until recently and now, every time I post something, I am bombarded with hits from China. I would estimate 60% or more of all my hits are from there. I had 17, in a half hour period, a few days ago. I can guarantee that the percentage will increase after I publish this post today.

I'm not quite sure what is going on, but I'm going to assume that I've been placed on some kind of Chinese government watch list, or am being tracked by some kind of Internet bot that searches for any anti-Chinese government rhetoric. I'm sure if I was in China I'd be subject to the same fate as the dissident in my above mentioned post. This is why I am so grateful to be living in a democratic society where we can post what we want about our government, both positive and negative, without fear of repercussions or, in some cases, fear for our lives.

I have no quibbles with the Chinese people (one of my best friends is Chinese/American) and I love their food, but any government that is afraid of mere words, attempts to censor and punishes those who are critical of the system deserves to be criticised. I have said this many times before, but if that form of government is so wonderful why are they so afraid of a little censure, surely there shouldn't be any, if it's so great!

So, to all the readers from China who are tracking my site: Greetings from the free world. I wish for your country: freedom and democracy!


Lizze said...

Words are the most dangerous weapon if they are not allowed to be free.

China is the up and coming superpower and I think in the long run it will be more democratic ... but it will take a real long time.

Incognito said...

I agree, words can be weapons.

And I hope you are right Lizze, about China becoming more democratic, because a super power that does not embrace democracy in some form or another, is a very dangerous one!

Blazing Cat Fur said...

Hi Incognito - yes I have experienced an influx of Chinese visits as well of late. For the record Canucks have a strong Conservative Blog Culture. and are 2 of the "heavyweights" of the Canuckistan blogosphere - both run by women, both have large US readerships as well - also of note is, another well known Canuck bogger is - note all of the above are run by girls sheesh! See you around!

Char Siu Bau said...

Words can be weapons! You Amercan so clever!

I think maybe you see what you wnat. Hits from China, just normal people like me. You think you on government list? Please, be real.

Of course we will democracy one day. We must fight for it, like your slaves fight you. You only been democratic (truly) since women get the vote - not that long you see.

China will be democracy one day, and we be 1.6bilions. We will be bigger that you can know imagine.

We want democratic, but not America style. All people must vote, include blacks in Florids.

Peace! Nice blogging!

Incognito said...

Hey BCF! The interesting thing about the Chinese visits is that they are all with no referring URLs. So it's not as if they just chanced upon the site.

And thanks for the Canuck sites. Will check into them. As for all being women... doesn't that tell you something.. ;-)

Incognito said...

Oh Lambent (aka Char Siu Bau.. can only imagine what that means in english)..
you are funny. First of all, Hong Kong is still somewhat democratic and a model of capitalism.

And actually it was Lizze who coined the phrase "words can be weapons". in her first comment, I just agreed with her, AND, she happens to be one of your compatriots. She's from London. :-)
Cheers mate,

Lizze said...

Democracy is much more then just voting for men and women. The Sovjet during the cold war had something like 99% turnout for their elections but I would not call that being a democracy.

The other main element in a democracy is Freedom of Speech, and China has a lot of catching up to do.

It is good to see sbc using the words "of course". Then will not matter if you are 1,6b or not, in a democratic state it is not the stronger rules. Everybody should have rights.

You need to kick the arrogant tone of "You Amercan so clever!"

Incognito said...

Hey Lizze,
Well said.
And unfortunately Freedom of Speech is totally non-existent in the Islamic world. To me that is one of the most essential things a human being can have. Actually "Freedom" period. I'm not sure there's any hope for freedom in the Islamic world, unfortunately.
And Char Siu is just one of our Lambent lad's many aliases. Take it with a grain of salt.

Lizze said...

Aha thx incognito :)

*getting the salt*