Sunday, October 14, 2012

Is Baidu Censoring Web Search Results for Mo Yan's Statement Regarding Liu Xiaobo?

On October 11, 2012, Chinese Nobel Laureate Mo Yan (莫言) told reporters during a news conference: “I hope [Liu Xiaobo] can achieve his freedom as soon as possible.”

These screenshots, taken on October 14, shows that a search for "Hope Liu Xiaobo Freedom" (希望 刘晓波 自由) on Baidu news search returned no results from China's state sponsored media. The only relevant result is from the Chinese version of the New York Times. The same search on Baidu's web search restricted to the New York Times returns no results - Baidu says it is unable to find any.

These screenshots, also taken on October 14, show that Baidu web searches for three different translations used by foreign media for the phrase "hope Liu Xiaobo can achieve his freedom as soon as possible" apparently return thousands of results, but Baidu's first page only loads 3-5 results (as opposed to the normal 10).

BBC: 希望刘晓波尽快获得自由
Deutsche Welle: 希望刘晓波早日重获自由
New York Times: 希望刘晓波能尽快获得自由