|A Japanese department store burns|
during protests in Changsha.
Credit: People's Daily
On September 17, 2012, the state-sponsored People's Daily published an article on its front page entitled "Solidify Patriotic Power Using Civility and Rule by Law" (用文明法治凝聚爱国力量). An excerpt:
For several days now cries of "The Diaoyu Islands belong to China!" from people all over have echoed across the broad expanse of the East China Sea. In their anger they have exercised restraint, in their passion they have maintained moderation, expressing themselves in a rational, civil, and orderly manner, demonstrating the determination of the Chinese people to defend their sovereignty and safeguard their their territory, forcefully beating back Japanese government's farcical "islands purchase," and winning the understanding and respect of the international community.
“钓鱼岛是中国的！”连日来，各地群众的呼声，穿越了东海的万顷波涛。他们愤怒不失克制、热情不失平和、有理有节文明有序的表达，表现出中华民族维护主权、捍卫领土的坚定决心，有力反击了日本政府“购岛”闹剧，赢得了国际社会的理解和尊重。These screenshots show that the People's Daily deleted an article from two places on its website:
- "Irrational Anti-Japanese Protest Occur in 52 Cities Around the Country, Destroying, Looting, and Burning Cars" (全国52个城市出现非理性反日游行 打砸抢烧焚汽车)
- "Destruction and Looting Takes Place During Anti-Japanese Marches in Xi'an, Qingdao, Changsha and Other Places." (西安青岛长沙等地反日示威游行出现打砸抢烧)
The article was a repost of an article that appeared in the Beijing Morning Post under the title "Diaoyu Islands Coordination Announcement" (钓鱼岛坐标公布). The People's Daily version, however, added several pictures depicting violence that were not in the Morning Post's version.
|On September 17, Soso was able to locate the People's Daily article's URL.|
Two days later the result was gone.
|Screenshot showing the People's Daily article was removed and now|
return an error message.
These screenshots were taken during the height of the protests (September 15-19), and show that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for terms such as "Looting" (打砸抢), "Besiege" (围攻), and "Shenzhen" (深圳).
These screenshots show that at 11 am on September 17, the first result for a Sina Weibo search for "Guangdong Tear Gas" (广东 催泪弹) was a post showing protesters being tear gassed and saying: "Police fire tear gas to disperse a crowd, what do you think of these methods?" (警方要施放催泪弹驱散群众，这个作法你们怎么看？). That post, originally available here, was deleted in less than three hours.