Internet giant Reddit may have declared war on the so-called ‘Great Firewall of China,’ which regularly blocks news sites considered ‘unfriendly’ to the Chinese government.
In instructions to reddit users about 9 months ago, reddit moderator TheDark1 told users that he fully supported the plagiarism of copyrighted articles from major media publications.
This appears to be part of a campaign to bypass Internet censorship in China.
He states that he fully supports the practice of users copying and pasting material from blocked websites onto reddit, so it can be read in China in defiance of China’s censorship laws.
In what is possibly a challenge to the Chinese government, he states: “Just because the Chinese government decides that a news organisation is blocked doesn’t mean we (reddit) should self censor.”
TheDark1 revealed himself in emails to China Daily Mail last year as Australian Sam Matthews, making official representations on behalf of reddit.
His reddit posting history suggests he is currently an ESL teacher who has worked long term in China.
The posting of copyrighted material now seems to have extended to pay-for-view sites such as South China Morning Post and others which are not blocked by China, but charge readers to view their content.
While TheDark1 acknowledges that his campaign against Chinese censorship promotes illegal activity such as IP theft and contravenes the laws of China, reddit themselves claim it is acceptable under their rules.
A concerned reddit user contacted the paid administrators of reddit about the legality of this practice, and was promptly banned from the site, with his reddit posts about it also being deleted.
In a response to the concerned user, a reddit administrator told the user to “contact them (media outlets) and any authorities you feel will investigate this.”
The administrator continued that “our legal team can deal with any requests they have.”
Reddit has been blocked several times in the past by Chinese authorities, who have the technology to block any website they consider ‘unfriendly’ to the Chinese Communist Party.
Major sites such as The New York Times, Bloomberg, Facebook and Google are blocked in China
This technology is commonly referred to as The Great Firewall of China.
To contact Sam Matthews, please first send an email to China Daily Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
China Daily Mail does not support China’s censorship of the Internet, and believes in a free Internet for all.
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