Many Chinese approve of censorship

There is a general assumption that people subjected to censorship are unhappy. A Pew Internet survey finds that most Chinese approve of internet regulation especially by the government (via Slashdot). The report can be downloaded here. This raises an interesting question: is censorship bad even if those who are affected by it approve of it?

Most people who argue for individual freedom would argue that it does not matter that those effected by a loss of liberty are OK with it – the very fact that individuals have lost their liberty is enough of basis to claim that censorship is bad. On the other hand such a claim would invalidate the opinions and ideas of the group who agree to being censored.

This is a tough call. Personally I do think that censorship is bad but it this is from my point of view and I am not being subjected to it.  Certain acts are unconditionally bad no matter what certain groups may believe (for example female circumcision or child pornography) but lesser wrongs are more difficult to judge.


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