Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year In Review: Top 10 Examples of Censorship of Protests

Trying (Unsuccessfully) to Pay Homage to Protestors

On December 30, 2012, Tencent published an article entitle "New Years' Resolution: Pay Tribute to Ten Great Dissenters" (年终策划:致敬十大反对者).

These screenshots, taken on January 3, 2013, show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for the article's title.

Mass Suicide Attempts in Beijing

On August 14, the state-sponsored Beijing Youth web site reported that at least ten people attempted to commit suicide together by drinking pesticide near Beijing West Railway Station.

As these screenshots show, the article was deleted the same day.


On December 12, the state sponsored web site published an article on its web site entitled "Not Satisfied With Compensation for Demolished Homes, 12 Wuhan Petitioners Drink Pesticide in Beijing" ( 不满拆迁补偿 12名武汉访民北京集体喝农药).

These screenshots show that on December 12 Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "12 Wuhan Petitioners Drink Pesticide in Beijing in Mass Suicide Attempt" (12名武汉访民在北京集体喝农药自杀).


Not In My Back Yard

On April 26, 2013, the following post appeared on Baidu's PostBar (Tieba 贴吧): “May 4, oppose the Pengzhou PX Chemical Plant Project, march and demonstrate, location: Jiuyan Bridge (the government has already approved) make a collective noise, comrades, wave your banners, show our unity for the next generation.” (5月4号,抗议彭州PX化工项目,示威游行,地点:九眼桥(政府已批准)吹响集结号,同志们,旗旗儿..摇起来,为了我们的下一代大家团结.)

That post was quickly deleted. These screenshots were taken on May 2, and show that Sina Weibo censors "May 4 Stroll" (五月四日 散步) and Tencent Weibo censors "May 4 Jiuyan Bridge Stroll" (五月四日 九眼桥 散步).

On May 5, 2013, the state-sponsored Nanjing Daily web site published an series of photos under the title "3,000 Kunming Citizens Gather in City's Center to Peacefully Protest PX Project."(昆明3000市民聚集市中心和平抗议PX项目).

These screenshots show that the photos were deleted the following day, between 9:15 and 10:30 am.

On May 16, 2013, the state-sponsored China Daily published an article entitled "Shanghai Battery Factory Canceled Over Protest." According to that report:
A Shanghai battery maker has given in to public pressure and canceled its plans for a new lithium battery factory in the city's Songjiang district. Shanghai Guoxuan New Energy said on Wednesday it had withdrawn its investment for the Songjiang program and would return the planned factory site to the local government, without claiming any compensation.
These screenshots were taken on May 2, and show that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Guo Xuan" (国轩) and "Battery Factory" (电池厂).


Hong Kong

On April 8, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Rise to the Occasion," with a photo captioned: "Dock workers and their supporters demand a 20-percent pay rise in the largest strike in Hong Kong in six years on Sunday."

These screenshots, taken on April 15, 2013, show that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Hong Kong Dock Workers Strike" (香港码头工人罢工), but not for "Dock Workers Strike" (码头工人罢工).


On June 30, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "No Hidden Agenda in HK Pop Concert." Some excerpts:
Monday marks the 16th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong, as well as the day when Hongkongers hold an annual march to express their political demands for democracy.
People's rights to participate in marches and express their political demands are enshrined in law, and the government has never intervened in the July 1 marches.
These screenshots show that on July 1, Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "Hong Kong 7 1 Take to the Streets." (香港 七一 上街)


Government Response in Flood Ravaged Yuyao

On October 16, 2013, the state sponsored Global Times published an English language article entitled "Official Calls for Restraint in Yuyao." According to that report:
Cai Qi, head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Zhejiang Provincial Committee, called for residents in Yuyao to restrain from radical acts on his Tencent Weibo account Tuesday, saying that local government officials have been trying their best in disaster relief.
These screenshots show that at some time on October 15-16), Baidu began censoring searches for "Yu Yao Demonstrations" (余姚 示威).


 Local Governments Appropriating Land

On March 4, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times reported that on the morning of February 22, village committee director, Li Baoyu, called police to report he was attacked in his office and injured by six masked thugs. Less than an hour later, police said Li hired his own thugs from other villages and ordered them to attack residents of Shangpu village.

These screenshots show that Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "Shangpu Village" (上浦村) on March 6.


A Woman’s Death in Beijing

On May 9, 2013, the state-sponsored China Daily published an article entitled "Death of Girl at Mall Triggers Large Protest." Some excerpts: Yuan Liya, 22, died after plunging from the seventh floor of a mall last week, and police say initial findings point to suicide. However, by Wednesday morning, hundreds of people had gathered outside the Jingwen coat wholesale outlet in the capital's Fengtai district to call for further investigations into the tragedy.

These screenshots show that Tencent's Soso search engine started censoring searches for "Jingwen" on May 9.