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“Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context

“Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context
“Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context
The revolutionary aspect of the World Wide Web is that it is a decentralised information structure. This democratic decentralisation is a key factor in the added value that the Web provides, because it facilitates the serendipitous reuse of information in new and unanticipated contexts. However its basic principle, of free flow of information packets and a very simple set of rules and standards underpinning these complex structures, is being undermined by attempts to restrict information flow. As use of the Web has spread, illiberal regimes feel threatened, but thanks to the hands-off approach of the 1990s, there are no affirmative globally-recognised principles governing the flow of information online. Currently, China is still focusing on a censorship-based approach to information control, using methods in direct opposition to the Web’s essential governing principle of decentralisation. This paper examines some of the questions for engineering and policy of that clash of principles.
China, Web Science, Web engineering, liberalism, censorship, history of the WWW, history of the Internet
978-0-415-46230-3
Routledge
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Zhang, Xiaoling
Zheng, Yongnian
O'Hara, Kieron
0a64a4b1-efb5-45d1-a4c2-77783f18f0c4
Zhang, Xiaoling
Zheng, Yongnian

O'Hara, Kieron (2009) “Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, a Hundred Schools of Thought Contend”: Web Engineering in the Chinese Context In, Zhang, Xiaoling and Zheng, Yongnian (eds.) China's Information and Communications Technology Revolution: Social changes and state responses. Routledge

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The revolutionary aspect of the World Wide Web is that it is a decentralised information structure. This democratic decentralisation is a key factor in the added value that the Web provides, because it facilitates the serendipitous reuse of information in new and unanticipated contexts. However its basic principle, of free flow of information packets and a very simple set of rules and standards underpinning these complex structures, is being undermined by attempts to restrict information flow. As use of the Web has spread, illiberal regimes feel threatened, but thanks to the hands-off approach of the 1990s, there are no affirmative globally-recognised principles governing the flow of information online. Currently, China is still focusing on a censorship-based approach to information control, using methods in direct opposition to the Web’s essential governing principle of decentralisation. This paper examines some of the questions for engineering and policy of that clash of principles.

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Published date: 2009
Keywords: China, Web Science, Web engineering, liberalism, censorship, history of the WWW, history of the Internet
Organisations: Web & Internet Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 267189
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/267189
ISBN: 978-0-415-46230-3
PURE UUID: fdafc9d8-551d-43b4-8813-a5f636cb067e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Mar 2009 14:08
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:07

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Contributors

Author: Kieron O'Hara
Editor: Xiaoling Zhang
Editor: Yongnian Zheng

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