A Chinese-American blogger arrested by Beijing authorities in August on what some
call phony prostitution charges has been made to denounce the evils of untrammeled internet speech and his own participation in it, reports The Washington Post
Charles Xue, a popular blogger and "liberal" venture capitalist, told Chinese citizens in a video
that he was motivated by selfish delusions of grandeur in his criticism of the Chinese state on topics that included, among other things, the quality of the nation's drinking water.
"It gratified my vanity greatly," he said, in a coerced admission the WP
points out is reminiscent of Mao-era
style public humiliation. "I got used to my influence online and the power of my personal opinions."
Xue added that he "didn't raise constructive suggestions to solve the problem," but rather "spread these ideas emotionally." He also suggested that the internet experience was similar to a drug addiction, beginning with intermittent use and ending with routine abuse.
Pundit Ann Althouse claims
the plight of Xue mirrors criticism
of cyber-speech here in the states:
"These statements sound like things many Americans say with sincerity," she writes. "Notice the idea that the internet is an addiction, the blogger is an egotist, [and that] a 'marketplace of ideas' is flooded with so much tainted merchandise that the government acts wisely to step in with consumer protection measures."
Via The Washington Post and Althouse