Big mama

Big mama

:"For other uses of the term Big Mama, please see Big Mama.

Big mama (Simplified Chinese: 大妈; Pinyin: "dà mā") is the informal name given to an Internet censor on web bulletin boards in the People's Republic of China. The name is derived from the name for the wife of the eldest uncle, who in traditional Chinese families has the responsibility to take care of everyone. The big mama is usually an employee of the company sponsoring the board whose job it is to remove politically sensitive postings. Big mamas act quite openly and are not reluctant to admit the fact that they are censoring and why they are doing so. The actions of big mamas are generally taken more with annoyance and amusement than with alarm, and there is often some humorous bantering with big mama.

Criticswho?|date=August 2008 suggest that the existence of big mamas is an example of infringement of freedom of speech and expression, and particularly fault Western companies such as Yahoo! for hiring big mamas on their Chinese sites. They note that big mamas extend the ability of the PRC government to control and monitor content on discussion boards.

Otherswho?|date=August 2008 have pointed out that by allowing web discussion sites to exist in the first place, the system actually promotes freedom of expression. Furthermore, they argue that it is far better to have the Internet content provider itself perform the censorship than it would be to have officials of the PRC government review all of the content on the message boards. They note that the actions of big mama are confined to deleting objectionable postings, and that there is no effort made to track down posters and punish them, and that replacing them with PRC government officials would have a far more Chilling effect on discussion.

ee also

*Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China
*Jingjing and Chacha
*Big Brother (1984)

External links

*Tsui, Lokman (2001). " [ Big Mama is Watching You: Internet Control by the Chinese government] ". Unpublished MA thesis, University of Leiden.
*Guttman, Ethan. (2002) " [ U.S. Capitalists Spread China's Communist Propaganda] ".

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