See these noteworthy posts by Australian Lou Veyret writing from Sydney, as well as by Thomas Crampton, a former writer for the International Herald Tribune in China. Crampton talks about how the Chinese government has hired a small freelance army of "opinion shapers" to influence opinion in chatrooms, on blogs, and now on Twitter, the free social networking and micro-blogging service. Here's an unedited interview Crampton did with Oiwan Lam, a blogger who writes from China for Global Voices Online and Inmediahk, a watchdog site in Hong Kong. Inmediahk bloggers attempt to cover stories in mainland China that government censors seek to quash.
For more on China's ongoing Net censorship, see an article by Xiao Qiang, an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and editor-in-chief of China Digital Times, an independent news Web site on China. He writes about how visitors to Sina.com, China's largest Internet portal, may be greeted by two pop-up cartoon police officers who provide links to the Internet police section of the government's Public Security Web site, where readers can click to report any "illegal information" they see. ABC's recent report—"China: The Great Firewall"—also provides some context.
The containment isn't only happening online. According to a recent post on the Christian Science Monitor 's Olympic Glory blog, Chinese authorities are creating "protest pens" in three Beijing parks to contain demonstrations during the Olympics against Beijing's policies on Tibet and human rights.