Wiggle Room



The Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace in Manila is generating great discussion on aspects of censorship on the Internet. There were some great sessions that discussed the idead of “wiggle room” in confined speech spaces. Kunda Dixit of the Nepali Times talked about the information blackout that occured after the coup in Nepal. He discussed how the newspaper fought back against the imposed censorship through printing articles with whitespace where the censors had remoed parts of the story and through the use of satire. He also stated that Nepal is now blocking 8 or 9 web sites.

The impression of the situation in countries that heavily censor is often that there is an information blackhole or that no political discussion takes place. Or that if mention a sensitive topic the secret police will kick down your door. But sometimes you have to look between lines (in this case literally) to see the creative ways in which people are pushing the boundaries of “accepted” speech. It seems to me that supporting and understanding these creative forms of censorship resistance is extremely important.

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