The “Great Firewall” of China Metaphor Reconsidered

Posted on November 8, 2013
Filed Under Aphorisms, metaphor, wit | 2 Comments

This piece from the China Digital Times considers whether we need a new metaphor to describe Internet censorship in China: “Our view of Chinese Internet censorship is shaped by one particular metaphor – “the great firewall of China”. Actually, this is a metaphor inside a metaphor because the word “firewall” means different things to different people. To a builder, it’s a wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire. To a computer scientist, on the other hand, a firewall is a piece of software designed to prevent unauthorised or unwanted communications between computer networks or hosts … Firewall-type activity does indeed describe aspects of the Chinese approach to the internet. But it’s been obvious for a while that the subtlety of the regime’s approach to managing the network has gone way beyond the binary allow/disallow nature of the firewall metaphor.”

Comments

2 Responses to “The “Great Firewall” of China Metaphor Reconsidered”

  1. Bill Brainerd on December 2nd, 2013 12:57 pm

    Immoral approbation: that which the moral use to chastise the immoral.

  2. Bill Brainerd on December 2nd, 2013 12:58 pm

    BILL STICKERS
    WILL BE
    PROSECUTED!

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