Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Facebook back in Vietnam

Back on New Years Eve I had reported that the gift from the government for the new year was a fresh blockage of Facebook. Reasons for this run routinely from bureaucratic denials of any block, even to the BBC, to the supposed theft of undersea cables by local fisherman/pirates (yes, we've actually heard that one), to various programming difficulties with the DNS settings by local ISPs - and of course, that's all rubbish. My contention has always been that if you tracked the dates of big party meetings with the blockages of primarily Facebook, that one could see it was an obvious club-footed attempt by the government to keep kvetching to a minimum during deep political thought and decision making. Twitter seems to do okay. No one seems worried about a 140 character rant. "T-h-r-o-w_t-h-e_b-a-s-t-a-r-d-s_o-u-t !", even in Vietnamese, "Vứt bastards ra!", and it's even shorter. But this week, yesterday actually, was the new, big news. Party meetings and holidays over. 

Facebook is back. And oh yes, you still need to jack with your DNS settings to make it work, but it works without any cumbersome add-ons or proxies. Phew. How did we ever live without it? (Actually, I found it somewhat pleasant).

And this all feeds into this blog's new thesis to explore the distortions we all create, to be able to live the lives we think we want to live. In this case, the government wants the illusion of suppression of free speech (never a  Socialist campaign winner, anyway), and the people want the illusion of freedom, and so with a few digits, a smartphone, computer or digital device of the moment - Voi la! Or Các voi as the locals might say - it's just like America! Soon they'll be having gay marriages and legalising marijuana - wait, don't they do that already?

No comments:

Post a Comment

D a v i d E v e r i t t - C a r l s o n
Find me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Read my previous blog: The Wild Wild East Dailies.