The Great Firewall of China: Implications of Internet Control for China Post-Tiananmen Square Massacre to Present Day
AbstractThis research analyzes the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) political motives behind its control of the Internet in China by exploring the restrictions and actions taken regarding a historical event that directly conflicts with the Party’s interests: the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre of 1989. To obtain answers and a fuller understanding of this crucial event, my research pursued an in-depth look at internet restrictions established by the CCP in four key areas: law, architecture, market forces, and social norms. By analyzing each of these areas in some detail, my research answers the following questions: (1) What methods are used by the CCP to control information flow, as exemplified by actions taken vis-à-vis the annual anniversaries of the Tiananmen Square Massacre? (2) Is it possible for an authoritarian government to put forward and control a specific version of history in today’s era of the internet? (3) What are the short and long-term implications for China as a result of its effort to control the internet domestically, using the 1989 Tiananmen Square annual anniversary as a case study?
The key findings from this analysis show how the current methods of control by the CCP have an impact on the historical facts and the legacy of the Tiananmen Square protest and massacre of 1989, and whether that legacy will prevail, waiver, or be obscured through manipulation of the domestic Chinese internet.
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