Sunday, June 22, 2014

As June 22 Hong Kong Referendum Approaches, Sina Weibo Censors "622 Referendum"

On June 21, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “HK ‘Referendum’ Illegal and Useless.” Some excerpts:
The so-called referendum organized by opposition activists in Hong Kong aims to push for reform in the 2017 election of the Special Administrative Region's (SAR) next leader - the organizers are calling for public nomination of candidates instead of them being nominated by a committee as stipulated by the Basic Law.

The SAR government has made it clear that the "referendum" is illegal, and that the result of the vote is not legally binding.
. . . .
The opposition groups, who refuse to accept the essence of the Basic Law and the white paper, are trying to use the "referendum" and "Occupy Central" movement to scare off the central government.
These screenshots show that on June 21, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “622 Referendum” (622公投).

These screenshots show that, at around the same time, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “Occupy Central” (占领中环).

These screenshots were taken on June 21, and show that both Baidu and Tencent Weibo were censoring search results for “Occupy Central.”