Monday, January 25, 2010

Vote by Voting Down

Although Chinese people don't have right to vote up candidates for government offices, they do have luxury, for now, to vote movies they see offensive online, again for now.

Amid implications of brutal evictions, Avatar was ordered out of cinemas by Jan 22 on the eve of Jan 21. While theater managers across the country fumbled to arrange refund tickets sold for the weekend, Chinese Netizens were mobilized to show their dissatisfaction by voting down the movie that supposed to take the place where Avatar was evicted for.

Confucius (2010) is supposed to be a mainstream big production movie, featuring international stars such as Yun-Fat Chow, with an eye to promote the 'harmonic society' advocated by the communist government. The movie may not be a master piece, but by all measure a good entertainment for the money. However, it was voted down to 1.5 stars out of 5 in two days on popular movie review site douban, by over five thousand 1 star voting after the words of Avatar eviction leaked out.

The phenomenon is similar to what took place at Amazon Customer Review after PC game Spore make use of DRM to restrict gamers.

By the way, movie site 'IMDB' was also blocked about one month ago by the communist government, following faith of sites such as Wikipedia, Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and others.

Not willing to see another potential political conflict, Avatar was ordered to be reinstated two days later.

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