Censored: Molly Roberts on how China uses deterrence, distraction, and dilution to control its internet


This week on Sinica, we continue with the ongoing California series of podcasts that Kaiser recorded last winter, and present a conversation taped in December, when he chatted with Margaret (Molly) Roberts, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Molly also co-directs the China Data Lab at the 21st Century China Center, and her latest book, Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China’s Great Firewall, takes a deep, data-driven look at the way that internet censorship functions, and how it impacts Chinese internet users.

15:21: Dispelling two narratives about China’s internet censorship

25:24: Distracting online communities by digitally flooding forums

32:43: How censorship affects those who experience it

41:52: How the discussion around Chinese internet censorship has evolved


Molly: Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor, by Virginia Eubanks.

Kaiser: The Syllabus, by Evgeny Morozov: A website offering curated syllabi featuring text, audio, and video on a range of topics, including technology, global affairs, arts and culture, and more.

This podcast was edited and produced by Kaiser Kuo and Jason MacRonald.