18 Sep 2003

State Censorship, Channeling and Self-Censorship in Singapore

Well I have decided to undertake a little research project of my own. Assuming I can find the time I intend to study how Singaporeans write on the net. This will involve reading a lot of blogs by Singaporeans and pouring through them to see signs of self-censorship. It will involve categorizing the many blogs by Singaporeans into various categories. The ones I am primarily concerned with are those that may from time to time contain political ranting or be about issues that are 'out of bounds' in the PAP sense, whatever the hell they mean by that.

The title above refers to censorship, which on my part will involve collecting the names and addresses of sites that are banned in Singapore and making them public. Also assessing whether they are banned because of sexual or political content. Are bans on sexually orientated websites being used as a smoke screen for a crack-down on political sites or increased monitoring of website activity by Singaporeans?

Now channeling is not such a commonly known means of control. To put it simply, it will be an attempt to uncover the mechanisms that the government employs to ensure that debates or 'out of bounds ' issues are not discussed. An example of this type of 'discussion-suppression' could be the use of laws in order to suppress dissent. In the more concrete sphere of every day life this would involve applying for a permit to hold a rally or demonstration, or applying to the police to speak at 'speakers corner'.

The final stage will be the long trawl through blogs by Singaporeans at home or abroad.

As you can probably tell the initial phase will be a long and arduous search of many different websites, trying to get the magic ‘Access Denied’ to appear. As they do I will place the address on the links section of this site. So first port of call MDA Singapore.

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