Thursday, June 27, 2013

Violence in Xinjiang Leaves Dozens Dead - A Look at the Censorship

Early in the afternoon of June 26, 2013, the state-sponsored China.org.cn published an English language report from the official news agency Xinhua published a report entitled "Riots in Xinjiang Kill 27." An excerpt:
Riots left 27 people dead early Wednesday in a remote town in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said. The riots happened at around 6 a.m. in Lukqun township of Shanshan County in Turpan Prefecture.
Later that afternoon, most of China's major online news media outlets had published a Chinese language report entitled "Disturbance Takes Place in Remote Xinjiang City Leaves 27 Dead" (新疆一处边远城市发生骚乱27人死亡), the text of which stated:
According to an English language Xinhua report, at approximately six this morning a disturbance took place in a remote city in Xinjiang in which 27 people died.
据新华社英文稿库,新疆一处边远城市今日早晨6点左右发生骚乱27人死亡。
Within hours the report had been deleted from the following URLs:
Sina also published the report here - http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2013-06-26/131827503298.shtml - but within hours it had replaced the headline and the story with this:
Violent Terrorist Incident Takes Place in Remote Xinjiang City Leaving 27 Dead 
According to an English language Xinhua report, at approximately six this morning an incident of terrorist violence took place in a  remote city in Xinjiang in which 27 people died. 
新疆1处边远城镇发生暴力恐怖事件27人死
据新华社英文稿库,新疆一处边远城镇今日早晨6点左右发生暴力恐怖事件27人死亡。

These screenshots show that, within hours of the initial Xinhua report, Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "Disturbance Takes Place in Xinjiang Leaving 27 Dead" (新疆发生骚乱27人死亡).

These screenshots show that Sina Weibo was also censoring searches for "Shanshan County" (鄯善县).

This screenshot shows that Tencent Weibo was censoring "Xinjiang Disturbance" (新疆 骚乱).

These screenshots show that Baidu was censoring "Xinjiang Disturbance" (新疆 骚乱), but not "Xinjiang Violent Terrorist Incident" (新疆 暴力恐怖事件).

This screenshot shows that, while Baidu does have a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum for "Shanshan County," the top post in that forum, from 2009, states: "In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this PostBar can only be browsed, and posting is not allowed." (根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧目前只能浏览,不能发贴。).

Finally, here are the comments posted on the original China.org.cn report as of June 27.

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...