Like its neighbours, China has seen a tremendous expansion of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) over the past fifteen years. But even as these technologies have encouraged the flow of information and freedom of expression, they have also contributed to personality disorders among Chinese Internet users, such as introversion (narcissism) and extroversion (mob behaviour through harassment of other Internet users), possibly corresponding to Lacan’s “mirror stage” theory. These disorders are analysed here in the light of Asia’s predominantly collectivist tradition. Blogs lack any sense of responsibility and respect and are full of exhibitionism and verbal violence, to the point of violating generally accepted individual rights. Has the Internet in China become a paradise for freedom of expression, or the graveyard of democracy?
- freedom of speech