Chinese internet censorship can be as rightly dubbed by MacKinnon (2008) described as a flatter world with thicker walls. Often media in the west portrays Chinese internet censorship as being detrimental to the Chinese people’s quest for democracy and political freedom. But peeking more closely one realizes the need for a more sober approach. Internet and blogs can be a tool and medium for political change but not exactly a cause of change as noted by Schafer (2006) and Pan (2006) and as referenced by MacKinnon (2008). The myth that internet can be an emancipatory tool that is inherent and a device that inevitably and necessarily boosts democracy through providing voice to people who lack political power is a really strong one as pointed out by Warf (2011). Internet should not be presumed as an automatic means of achieving democratic freedom but only as a medium aiding and abetting the journey to democracy in authoritarian states.
It has to be noted that such a strict censorship of the internet in the country sometimes prove to be counterproductive as this strict censoring sometimes encourage discussion of sensitive topics on many social media sites in China as pointed out by Ng (2014). Also Chinese information controls have proved to be futile on some occasions as proved by the classic cases of the failure in suppressing the fatal 2011 Wenzhou train accident and the failed 2013 suppressing of the renegade newspaper Southern Weekly. But the authorities have also found ways to circumvent the smartness of the Chinese netizens. Both smart Chinese netizens and the authorities have at present capabilities in advancing their views on the net effectively and thwarting them respectively.
The authorities clean up the internet of any dubious material to present to the world a really rosy and idealistic picture of China as happened before the 2008 Beijing Olympics as noted by De Gruyter (2011). It has to be noted that it is not only politically sensitive content that is removed under such scenarios, any adverse comment on any aspect pertaining to China or the Chinese is removed. To cite an example, before the Beijing Olympics, an internet forum was shut down simply because it carried a comment by someone pointing out that expensive stadiums were being built while large numbers of Chinese were in poverty.