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@isaac's 51 cent comment to gnso-stakeholder-charters

  • To: gnso-stakeholder-charters@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: @isaac's 51 cent comment to gnso-stakeholder-charters
  • From: Isaac Mao <isaac.mao@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 23 Jul 2009 02:17:05 +0800


I'm writing by borrowing a popular term, "50 cents party",  from China
to argue what's wrong with the philosophy of current chartering
process. I wish it's a little bit heavier than 50 cents.

As a new member of NCUC, I don't want to see ICANN becomes a censor
like China government does. But how can we really avoid of being on
same road to such a destiny? China authority always argues that it
represent the benefit of all people, so all their censorship
activities including recent blockages on youtube, twitter, facebook,
and a lengthy list were sophisticate to prevent people from being
"polluted or harmed". There came the notorious Great Firewall(GFW) and
recent Green Dam.

But GFW wasn't born in one night. People indulged it's growing up.
It's just as one of the most popular memes spreaded over Chinese
twittersphere(you know users in China has to climb over the GFW to use
twitter). "Firstly they blocked Wikipedia, I said nothing, after all I
was not Wikipedian; then they blocked youtube, I said nothing because
I don't view it; Then they blocked Google, I sand nothing because I
can still use Baidu; Now they blocked my blog, I wanna say, but I
can't say anymore".

Both GFW and Green Dam wanted to be nanny but eventually became the
enemy of people. People were silent or lazy to protect their own
rights in early days, then they found they were all harmed. The case
in China tells us that once the culture DNA was misplaced, there won't
be creativities for the mission of Internet, but more and more
conflicts and chaos.

If I understand correctly. GNSO wants to be very transparent to openly
define the charter for sustainable evolution. Anytime there are any
imposition in it, there will be disabilities emerging. The right
philosophy should be like this: open discussion (as I knew we did
right in March), collaboration(the missing link), collection(we are
losing). I found such flaws and dilemma in the chartering process now.
It's now high time to sit down again to collaborate with related
groups which run for rights, voices and characteristics of those
diversified non-commercial constituencies.

More from China lessons, there seems always good wills to design
something as nanny and force people to accept it. Someday once it
founds it lose the credit, it doesn't have the capability of
self-correction any more. Instead it will continue the errors by
trying more stupid ways. The China government, didn't learn how to
improve governance by listening to more voices, so they chase less
transparency. After realizing the war between "rat and cat" are
dooming, hey started to employ more malicious behaviors, like 50 cents
party, against Internet nature. But it's not the real intelligent way
to be self-sustainable. Such DNA will lead a negative curve in the
future of the whole digital world.

Please allow me to quote the term "50 Cent Party", from Wikipedia
where it was collaboratively and collectively defined, to share:
50 Cent Party (五毛党, pinyin: wǔmáodǎng), also called 50 Cent Army, is
the name for paid astroturfing bloggers operating since 2005 from
People's Republic of China, whose role is posting comments favorable
towards the government policies to skew the public opinion on various
Internet message boards. They are named by the 50 Chinese cents, or 5
mao, they are paid per such post, though many operatives are
volunteers; other names are red vests, red vanguard and the Five Mao
Party.Conservative estimates[who?] say the 50 Cents Army employs tens
of thousands of bloggers, some estimates say as many as
280,000–300,000.[4][5] Their activities were described by Chinese
President Hu Jintao as "a new pattern of public-opinion guidance".

Lets alarm again, the precedent of imposition is not wise, but very
dangerous to us, all of us.

Isaac Mao
Blogger In China, and Philosopher behind Sharism,
Fellow of Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University

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