Sunday, September 2, 2012

After CCTV Names Lhasa China's "Happiest City," Sina Weibo Bans Searches for "Self-Immolations"

On August  21, 2012, Xinhua reported that according to a survey by the state-sponsored China Central Television, Lhasa topped the list of "the happiest cities in China in 2012."

This screenshot was taken on August 31, 2012, and shows that a search on Sina Weibo for "Self-Immolations" returned no results, just a notice saying that "In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, search results for "Self-Immolations cannot be displayed." (根据相关法律法规和政策,“自焚”搜索结果未予显示).

This censorship began some time after August 23. Prior to that Sina was deleting individual posts mentioning self-immolations, but was not blocking all searches for the term.
Screenshots showing search results for "Aba Self-Immolations."