The Null Device

Chongqing, a satire-free zone

The Chinese city of Chongqing has enacted a law which bans satire on the internet:
The rules target Web users "who spread information or remarks defaming others, launch personal attacks or damage others' reputations online," the official Xinhua News Agency said. Potential violations include posting online video "to satirize others or social phenomena."
Online satire has become a big problem in China, a society where any challenge to the government's authority is taken very seriously:
Video spoofs have become so popular that Chinese have coined a new slang term, "egao," to describe the act of using real film clips to create mocking send ups.
Government film regulators announced new rules in August meant to rein in the "egao" fad by allowing only authorized major Web sites to show short films online.
Laws prohibiting sarcasm and irony and strictly regulating the use of other rhetorical devices are expected soon.

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