I subscribe to the Hao Hao Report. There I said it. I haven’t subscribed to their RSS feed for a long time, I’m not an active user. I’m not an old China hand. However I did live in the country, still know people who do live there, and I want to go back to visit. Heck I’m an alumni of Tsinghua University, I’ve got the Chinese New Year’s Card to prove it.
So anyway I was looking through my RSS feeds and I clicked on a story that seemed interesting. I wanted to read more so I ended up at nytimes.com, recently in the news for their attempt to put a paywall up just for Canadians. I myself have poked fun at the New York Times on this very blog, they are a big target. And the time has come to do so again.
No not about the silly paywall. Newspapers need revenue to stay in business, bloggers aren’t always balanced and fair, not that newspapers are, but at least you know where to hurl the brick if you don’t like something printed in the New York Times. So anyway I’m reading the article in the New York Times on Censorship in China. An article that mentions and links to: Twitter, Google, and Facebook. I mean physically links to them in the article. So I’m enjoying the article and thinking how things have changed since I live in China. When I lived in China there were things you weren’t allowed to blog about, but I didn’t feel as though my emails, texts, and phone calls were being monitored by the government. I was invited on exchange by a famous university, I felt pretty welcome in Wu Dao Kou and most places I traveled.
So anyway I’m halfway through the article or at least have read to the end of page one and I think some of my friends on Facebook, say people who went on exchange to China as well, or who live or work there now, they might be interested in this article so I look up and down the New York Times website for a Facebook Share or Like button or perhaps a Twitter one. Finally I find a generic share button I click on it and low and behold no Facebook, no Twitter, no Google Buzz, but there is an ad. I thought to myself is the New York Times owned by Fox? As they expect me to share the article on MySpace, LinkedIn makes a bit more sense, but no options to share via the major internet services actually written about in the article.
That my friends is Dumbass. It is also hypocritical, they are writing on how the big bad Chinese government is censoring and blocking Google, Facebook, and Twitter and they themselves seem to be feuding with those various entities and unlike the rest of the Internet, the New York Times are making it harder for readers and potential clickers on advertisement to share stories with other readers and potential clickers on advertisements.
This is even more ironic as recently after reading an article, posted to Twitter by Alexandra Samuel, I changed how I had implemented sharing on Muskblog. I had previously tried AddThis and ShareDaddy but now I use a pluging called Digg Digg. The point? The entire world is sharing information and searching for information online and probably the three biggest tools are Google, Twitter, and Facebook, that is why the Chinese government has targeted them, but the New York Times, paragon of journalism and free speech and accountability, is basically acting like a little child by refusing to play with those three sites.
Alexandra will like this post as it will attract spam. Now if only WordPress 3.1 category archives worked…