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The Decline of the American Press Freedom

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Byung Yoo

on 6 November 2014

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Transcript of The Decline of the American Press Freedom

The Decline of the American Press Freedom
by Anne Applebaum

1984, George Orwell
The protagonist, Winston Smith, works in the government's Ministry of Truth. It's function is to revise the past to align with the present.
Censorship takes many forms
"Vladimir Putin's Dark Rise to Power"
Also occurring in the summer of 2009, GQ magazine was debating whether to include the article, by Scott Anderson, which argued that Russian security services helped plan bombings in Moscow in 2000 which were blamed on Chechen terrorists.

Byung Yoo
Dystopian novel set in England where a totalitarian government is set in place under the name of INGSOC
In 2005, a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. In Jytte Clausen's book,
The Cartoons that Shook the World
, she argued controversy was stirred by Danish imams by showing inappropriate pictures of Mohammed alongside the real ones.
Furthermore, others abused this false provision for their own political gain. But in the end, the cartoons were omitted from the book due to the vague threat of terrorism.
Putin used this allegations as justifications of starting the Second Chechen War.
Continued
The article was published but excluded from all foreign editions and the company's website. This was not a matter of security but of business. GQ did not want to upset Russian advertisers who were linked to the government in some way.
If the Americans, safe at home, do not dare to point out the corruption, why should the Russians, at much greater risk, feel braver?
American aid of Chinese censorship
China's "Great Firewall" was originally created alongside the help of Cisco Systems. Other companies, such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google, have followed suit and aided in the great censorship of Chinese internet.
Retaliation
In June 2009, the Chinese government tried to enforce the integration of the Green Dam within all computers sold in the country. This would allow the government to spy on its constituents.
American hardware companies banded together and threatened to take the issue to the World Trade Organization. After a few weeks, China backed off and enforced the Green Dam only within schools and Internet cafes.
A Different Age
To be fair, American companies are not the only companies to yield at before rich authoritarians. But this was not always the case in America. Just a few decades back, the American media was known to infuriate totalitarian regimes.
In the end, the press is still comprised of companies with a primary focus of generating wealth. As a business operating in a free market, it is guided by the invisible hand following the principles of self-interest and competition; it's primary motive is not to enrich the general populace with information.
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