Censored: Molly Roberts on how China uses deterrence, distraction, and dilution to control its internet


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This week on Sinica, we continue with the ongoing California series of podcasts that Kaiser recorded last winter, and present a conversation taped in December, when he chatted with Margaret (Molly) Roberts, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Molly also co-directs the China Data Lab at the 21st Century China Center, and her latest book, Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China’s Great Firewall, takes a deep, data-driven look at the way that internet censorship functions, and how it impacts Chinese internet users.

15:21: Dispelling two narratives about China’s internet censorship

25:24: Distracting online communities by digitally flooding forums

32:43: How censorship affects those who experience it

41:52: How the discussion around Chinese internet censorship has evolved


Molly: Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, by Virginia Eubanks.

Kaiser: The Syllabus, by Evgeny Morozov: A website offering curated syllabi featuring text, audio, and video on a range of topics, including technology, global affairs, arts and culture, and more.

This podcast was edited and produced by Kaiser Kuo and Jason MacRonald.