David Feng to Chair and Speak at China and the Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication Conference on 09 April 2016

David Feng to Chair and Speak at China and the Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication Conference on 09 April 2016

Although I’ve made some not-so-invisible changes to my main commitments, moving out of “theory / research-only” academia and being involved only in projects that yield actual, tangible results for the benefit of the general public, I still will be involved in my part of academia which involve speeches and lessons. This is why I’ve decided to be an active part of the upcoming China and the Changing Geopolitics of Global Communication conference. This is a unique event: both universities co-organising this are those I have academic affiliations to. It’s also a good way to transition academically from London to Beijing.

Check out the full schedule for details, and be sure to book yourself in for the event if you’re interested. I will be chairing Parallel Panel 2 (Cultures of communication) from 11:30 through to 13:00, and in the afternoon hour, I’ll have my 15 minute-presentation.

David Feng to Additionally Speak at 2nd Global China Dialogue in London on 23 November 2015

David Feng to Additionally Speak at 2nd Global China Dialogue in London on 23 November 2015

I have just been informed that in addition to being a discussant on the Civilised dialogue – transcultural and comparative panel at the upcoming UK-China Culture Exchange – 2nd Global China Dialogue: Transculturality and New Global Governance conference, I will also be speaking at the next panel on Urbanisation and the Fabric of China’s Internet.

Most of you know that I’ve been deeply involved in this on two fronts: riding around the country by HSR (and seeing how cities have in essence sprung up from bang in the middle of nowhere — Wuqing is your classic case study) — and a focus on the Internet in China. I’ve also taken a good look at how the two likely match up, so this will be quite a novel presentation.

I am expected to speak in the timeslot between 15:45 and 16:30.

The Internet and China: Less is More?

If you thought China was fully in control and regulating things these days (apparently they completely canned Line), this might only be the tip of the iceberg for you. Presently, the firewall operates on a blacklist (liste noire) principle, in essence containing a list of sites you’re not allowed to go to, and then not restricting access to the rest. (The same goes for keywords, especially those in search machines.) Incredibly, though, as long as you stay away from the two Ps — politics and porn — you should be fine.

Apparently.

Because whilst I was just browsing around on my hard drive as of late, I came across this presentation I did in my first PhD year. It really was a scary moment.

Social Media Wants to Be Free. Let It Be.

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in David Feng Views, Technology | No Comments

I’d like to keep today’s post a brief one — I’m a firm believer that rational, legal debate on the Internet is one of the best things ever invented — or at least made possible. Social media is one of those places where we all are sharing voices freely. I love it when people from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and all over the place come together over a great variety of things.

Social media, like I argued in my PhD dissertation, should be a place where there remains both order and freedom — and one doesn’t have to feed on the other. Whilst we should ban criminal content — much is the case in “the real world” — we should also allow rational, legal debate plenty of space and time. I’m not one for shutting down accounts just because I share a different point of view than you do. To me that’s something that sounds like Pyongyang. It just shouldn’t happen.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. This quote from Evelyn Beatrice Hall (often misattributed to Voltaire) forms the centrepiece of my views on social media. As long as it’s legit and rational, we should allow all comments people hold to be aired freely. The Internet and social media wants to be free. I say — let it be.

Rethinking China’s “Green” Dam

Posted by on Jul 2, 2009 in China, Media Appearances | No Comments

As of late, more and more people in China are expressing concern about Green Dam — new software that’s supposed to keep people away from “unhealthy” sites, but which others have concerns about regarding content control and general security. This doesn’t make it quite “green” at all!

Lately, I’ve been interviewed by lots of media, both online and offline, in the UK and elsewhere. My concerns expressed were less political / “censorship”-related, and far more issues regarding how secure the new software was, as well the existing issue of sites in China that already have low-brow content in the form of controversial ads. Some content were already quite “suggestive” — even on officially approved sites!

The most interesting thing that happened was that during one of the interviews, late-breaking news came and I was informed the plan to roll out such filtering applications would not go ahead.