The focus on censorship, monitoring and other invasive, anti-free speech, state sponsored activities in China tends to be on the virtual domain.
But there is very real danger to speaking out in any forum. The recent case of Wang Zhongping clearly demonstrates the dangers of uncovering the dirty secrets of those in power.
Wang was found dead in prison apparently having committed suicide, but given the condition of his body which indicated recent beatings and other abuse his friends and family say he was murdered. Netizens have now taken up the cause and there is considerable online debate.
And what did Wang do to end up in jail? He blew the whistle on embezzlement and corruption by high ranking party officials.
It is a timely reminder that while we may feel safe sitting behind a computer in the virtual world it is as well to remember that saying the wrong thing can lead to horrific consequences in the real one.