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Surprise! China Blocks Access to IMDB Over Tibetan Movies

We've made our decision, and we're sticking to it. We're never, ever moving to China. According to the Hollywood Reporter, China has blocked access to IMDB (Internet Movie Database), denying its 338 million Internet users the right to instantly know Jennifer Grey's entire filmography. Even though The People's Republic has already blocked Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, some were left a bit nonplussed by its latest move. Most of the government's censorship choices have been hitherto aimed at violent or pornographic sites, and IMDB isn't even available in Chinese. Most speculate, though, that Chinese officials shut the door on IMDB because of political reasons -- namely, because of information about individual lightning rods like the Dalai Lama or Rebiya Kadeer. It also appears that IMDB fell under the Facebook/Twitter/YouTube umbrella of sites the government now considers hostile because of user-generated content; anyone can engage in dangerous things like online discussion and debate.

Although the right to search for obscure movie trivia is practically inalienable, we're willing Tibet that China and the global community have bigger fish to fry before they get around to IMDB. Still, it speaks to the country's troubling, iron-fisted suppression of information and online discourse. China may have enjoyed asymptotic economic growth for the better part of the last few decades, but if this trend continues unabated, it may very well leave an entire generation of Chinese digitally stunted. At a time when the rest of the world is huddling closer and closer around the warm hearth of the Net, China, for whatever reason, seems to be pulling further away. [From: Hollywood Reporter]

Tags: censorship, china, chinese, free speech, FreeSpeech, imdb, internet movie database, InternetMovieDatabase, politics, tibet, top