While looking into the Pew Global Attitudes Survey (which deserves a blog post of its own), I came across these interesting results highlighted by Pew, with the title ‘Few in China Complain About Internet Controls‘. This survey was conducted in 2007:
- Over four years of tracking user reaction, trust in the reliability of online content has fallen by one-half, from 52% in 2003 to 26% now.
- Only about one-third of internet users (30%) said they considered online content reliable.5
- An overwhelming number of Chinese, almost 84%, agreed that the internet should be controlled or managed.
- Since 2005, the percentage of users who say that online content about “politics” should be controlled or managed jumped from 8% to 41%, by far the biggest increase of any items tested.
It’s fair to wonder whether the survey is fully representative. After looking at the methodology in detail (pdf) (which polled 2000 urban residents in 5 cities), I think these numbers do give us at least a fuzzy picture of common trends.
This all tells me that perhaps we shouldn’t expect much liberalization online in the near future. There’s just too little popular demand for it.