Monday, January 7, 2013

[Updated] Global Times, Netease, and Sina Weibo Censorship on Day Three of Outcry Over Southern Weekend New Year's Greeting


January 5 Coverage: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/01/websites-delete-articles-block.html
January 6 Coverage: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/01/baidu-and-other-search-engines-join.html

On the morning of January 7, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled "Southern Weekend's 'Letter to Readers' Truly Makes One Ponder" (南方周末“致读者”实在令人深思) here - http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2013-01/3454091.html. Some excerpts:
The matter of Southern Weekend's New Year's Greeting having "been modified" has been spreading over the Internet the last few days, with a Southern Weekend editor saying that the version that appeared in print had come from the Guangdong Party Committee Propaganda Department. Last night the Southern Weekend's official Weibo clarified the cause of this matter, and the truth is completely different from the version that has been circulating on the Internet. Also, based on what the Global Times has learned from its own independent channels, the "modified version" was actually not written by the Guangdong Party Committee Propaganda Department. 
But last night there was once again people who represented themselves as being Southern Weekend staff on Weibo posting accounts that conflicted with Southern Weekend's official Weibo, and it looks as though things have yet to completely settle down, and that there is division within Southern Weekend. 
The Southern Weekend storm has fermented over several days, but looked at closely, besides a few current Southern Weekend staff, most of the most active online participants are those who left the "Southern Weekend" some time ago, people who currently have no  connection with the news group, as well as Weibo personalities. They are in reality very disperesed, and use the Internet to communicate. Their most recent supporter is Chen Guangcheng, who is far-off in the United States. 
These people are making spirited demands, and while on the surface they are going after a specific person and event, its obvious to everyone watching that their target is the entire system that involves the media. 
Whether these people like it or not, this is common sense: given the current state of China's society and government, the kind of "free media" that these people yearn for in their hearts simply cannot exist. All of China's media can develop only to the extent China does, and media reform must remain part-and-parcel of China's overall reform, and the media absolutely will not become a "political special zone" of China. 
. . . .
 Even in the West, the mainstream media will not choose to openly oppose the government. 
南周新年献词“被改动”事件近日在互联网上扩散,有南周编辑称见报稿出自广东省委宣传部。昨晚南周的这条官方微博,把事情起因做了澄清,真相与前些天互联网流传的版本完全不同。另据环球时报通过自己的独立管道了解,所谓“改稿”确实不是广东省委宣传部所写。 
但在昨晚,微博上又有人贴出与南周官方微博对抗的南周部分人员签名信,看来事情尚未完全平息,南周内部似出现分裂。 
南周风波近日发酵,但仔细看,最积极在网上扩散的人除了有一些目前在南周工作,很多是早就离开《南方周末》、与该报系如今已没什么关系的人,还有一些微博活跃人士。他们在现实中很分散,通过互联网联系在一起。他们的最新支持者是远在美国的陈光诚。 
这些人提出的要求很激烈,表面上是针对具体的人和事,实际上谁都看得出,他们的矛头指向了与媒体有关的整个体制。 
不管这些人愿不愿意,有一个常识是:在中国今天的社会政治现实下,不可能存在这些人心中向往的那种“自由媒体”。中国所有媒体的发展只能是同中国大现实相对应的,媒体改革必须是中国整体改革的一部分,媒体决不会成为中国的“政治特区”。 
. . . .
即使在西方,主流媒体也不会选择同政府公开对抗。 
This video was taken in the afternoon of January 7, and shows that the article has been replaced with a 404 error message.


Update January 8, 2013: These screenshots show that the Global Times reposted the editorial at a new URL later in the afternoon on January 7 - http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2013-01/3457134.html.

Also on January 7, Netease posted a series of photos here - http://news.163.com/photoview/00AN0001/30869.html - under the heading "Mass Demonstration Outside Southern Media Group's Building in Guangzhou" (广州南方报社楼前现游行人群). An excerpt:
On January 7, a mass demonstration took place in front of the Southern Media Group's building in Guangzhou, calling for justice for the "Southern Weekend." Previously, the 2013 Southern Weekend New Year's Greeting was subjected to revisions by higher-ups. On the evening of January 6, the Southern Weekend's official Weibo published information clarifying that the New Year's Greet was written by that paper's editors, and the online rumors were false. At the same time, many Southern Weekend editors and journalists express their opposition, saying they had already lost control over official Weibo's account. 
1月7日,广州南方报社大楼前聚集人群,声援《南方周末》,此前,2013《南方周末》新年献词传遭上级领导修改。1月6日晚,《南方周末》官方微博发布消息澄清,新年献词系本报编辑所写,网络传言不实。与此同时,《南方周末》多名编辑记者表示抗议,称已经失去对官微账号的控制。
Screenshot showing Netease report on protests before it was deleted.
That report was also deleted on the afternoon of January 7.

Sina Weibo censoring the individual characters in "Southern Weekend":
南,方,周,末
Sina Weibo censoring "Southern Weekend" in English,
Pinyin, and the pinyin abbreviation.
Sina Weibo censoring the word "censorship."
Sina Weibo censoring "289," the street number of Southern Weekend.
Sina Weibo censoring "collective announcement."

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...