Thursday, March 27, 2014

After Person Reportedly Commits Suicide Baidu Censors Searches for Their Name (Again)

At 10:15 am on March 26, 2014, the state-sponsored magazine Caixin published an article on its web
site entitled “SCIO Deputy Director Li Wufeng Commits Suicide by Jumping Out a Window” (国新办副主任李伍峰坠楼).

The article, originally available here:,  was deleted in less than an hour.

These screenshots show that, within hours of the article being pulled down, Baidu began censoring searches for “Li Wufeng Commits Suicide by Jumping Out a Window (李伍峰坠楼).

These screenshots were taken on March 27, about 24 hours after Baidu began censoring Li's name, but there is no indication that either Sina Weibo or Qihoo were censoring searches "Li Wufeng."

But then again, neither is there any information on Sina Weibo or the first page of Qihoo's results that is more recent than December 2013.

This is not the first time Baidu has censored information relating to an alleged suicide. For example, in February 2014, Baidu began censoring “Xue Fushun” after he died at the offices of the People's Procuratorate in Qufu, Shandong. Officials stated it was a suicide.


In October, 2013, Baidu censored “Tiananmen Suicide” (天安门 自杀) after police said a driver and two passengers were killed after their jeep crashed into a crowd of people and caught fire in front of the Tiananmen rostrum in downtown Beijing.


In May 2013, Baidu and other search engines censored “Jingwen” (京温), the name of a coat outlet where Yuan Liya, 22, died after plunging from the seventh floor and police claimed initial findings pointed to suicide.


Finally, in March 2010, after the physician and academician Li Leishi passed away, Baidu and other search engines censored “Li Leishi Suicide” (黎磊石 自杀) .