Online Video May Be Screened In China
A YouTube fact sheet states that over 65,000 videos are uploaded to the site on a daily basis. Now, imagine how many of those would make it if every single one had to be screened by a live person. Fear not – this isn’t going to happen at YouTube – but it is what the Chinese government has proposed as policy for its own online video content.
This process wouldn’t just slow down the transfer of videos – it would also (surprise!) act as a mechanism of censorship. David Wolf, the chief executive officer of Wolf Group Asia, spoke to InfoWorld about the possibility. “In the minds of China’s regulators,” he said, “this is merely broadcast by other means, and is thus subject to the same legal constraints as conventional radio and television.”
As for how likely this is to happen, “It is only a matter of time before SARFT issues regulations covering the full range of streaming online content,” Wolf stated (with SARFT being China’s State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television).
Mike of Techdirt was frustrated by the proposed screening. “They have tens of thousands of people monitoring the internet,” he wrote. “However, they’re really going to ridiculous extremes in trying to slow down the production of non-approved content . . . . They don’t want people to generate their own content, because they might produce content the government doesn’t like,” Mike concluded.
China, of course, has been the center of a good deal of controversy pertaining to censorship in recent days. Amnesty International even took a moment to criticize how Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft responded to Chinese demands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like things are going to improve anytime soon.