Don't Sing Out of Tune With the Internet Real Name Registration System

August 29, 2005

The following is a partial translation by CECC staff of an opinion piece reprinted on the People's Daily Web site indicating the debate within China about requiring Internet users to register on BBSs, news groups, and games using their real names. Click here for more CECC coverage of this issue.

Who is most afraid of a real-name Internet? Not us ordinary Internet users, and not famous authors. Only a few people who vent their personal spite, those people who use the Internet to recklessly curse or spread reactionary speech everywhere or post pornographic pictures and stories all over the place. The Internet space must after all have restrictions, and when garbage language takes up the space, then naturally there is less room left for valuable things, so strengthen administration now, regardless of whether it is sweeping away pornographic speech or reactionary speech, as well as filthy speech that constitutes an infringement on the rights of others.
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The real-name Internet's greatest significance is nothing more than being responsible for one's own speech. You have freedom of speech, but you must also be responsible for your own speech, and surely you cannot say that you have freedom of speech and can therefore talk nonsense? After the Internet real name system, at least when you speak you will have to consider the consequences of speaking, and have a greater sense of social responsibility, and this is a good thing.