Saturday, April 16, 2022

Covid-19 Series: 3 Censored Weixin Posts About the Shanghai Lockdown

A Plea For Help

On April 8, 2022, a Weixin user posting as "Stormzhang" posted an essay on Weixin titled "Plea for Help!!!" (求救!!!). Some excerpts:

Hello everyone, my name is stormzhang, I live in Pudong, Shanghai, today is the 22nd day of being locked down, I am an Internet blogger, but today I want to use this article to let everyone see that under the epidemic, the real living conditions of the people of Shanghai, and also here plea to everyone for help, I hope you will read patiently to the end.

. . . .

[T]he basic living security of Shanghai people is currently facing great problems, and most of the people of Shanghai spend their whole life every day looking for ways to find and get a hold of food.

For a long time many people around me have relied on porridge and instant noodles every day to survive.

I know that many people don’t believe it. If I were not personally experiencing it, then to tell the truth I wouldn't believe it either that today in 2022, people in an international metropolis people can’t buy vegetables every day and eating is a problem. But it is really happening.

大家好,我是 stormzhang,人在上海浦东,今天是被封的第 22 天,本是一位互联网博主,但是今天我想借这篇文章,让所有人看到,疫情之下,上海人民的真实生存现状,也在这里向大家求救,希望大家耐心看完。

. . . .

现在上海人民的基本生活保障遇到了极大的问题,绝大部分上海人民每天全部的生活就是到处寻找抢菜渠道。

我身边很多人每天靠喝粥,吃泡面度日很久了。

我知道说出来很多人不信,如果不是亲身经历者,说实话你告诉我,在 2022 年的今天,国际性大都市的人民每天买不到菜,吃饭是问题,我也是不信的,然而它就是真实的发生了。

Original URL: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/S2bxlYiik_ZVpZwCImF8MQ

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20220408013531/https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/S2bxlYiik_ZVpZwCImF8MQ

The screenshots below show that, by April 9, 2022, Tencent had taken down the essay and replaced it with a notice saying:

Unable to view this content because it violates regulations

Upon receipt of relevant complaints, this content violates the "Administrative Provisions on Internet User Public Account Information Services" (接相关投诉,此内容违反《互联网用户公众账号信息服务管理规定》)

An Account of Being Quarantined

On April 9, 2022, a Twitter account, apparently created specifically for the purpose of promoting a Weixin essay posted the following:

URL: https://twitter.com/LeonaCheng1608/status/1512764627741859844

Some excerpts from the Weixin post (originally in English):

My experience in the Fangcang-Hospital
Original Leona LeonaCheng 2022-04-09 14:54

I know everyone is facing a hard situation now and has already burst into too much negative and terrible news. So the third part of this text is about some happy records here. You could read it from that part. But it is also necessary that we should face to the difficulty and think about whose fault caused all of these and how to avoid it next time.

. . . .

Merkel said this in her New Year's speech of 2021. A previously unknown virus is invading our bodies and our lives. It hits us where we are most human, in close contact, in hugs, in face-to-face conversation.

I feel so deeply touched and a bit shocked. Because in Xi's New Year's speech of 2021, he talked about the Chinese people's collective overcoming of the epidemic, the economic progress we have achieved together, and many achievements that the whole country has achieved. But he never mentioned what each of us, as individual, experienced, felt and perhaps feared.

I think we're awake after the Enlightenment and the Renaissance because we started to think about how to achieve our own value as individuals, and we also started to learn to enjoy happiness as individuals.

But in China we always emphasize the collective. We always ignore the individual. In this way, we have achieved amazingly rapid development and effectively eliminated poverty. It is true that material civilization is the basis of spiritual civilization. But have we ever really cared about the mental feeling after the economic development?

To pursue the goal of zero confirmed case, we sacrifice solicitude of staying with friends and family; we ignored the yearn for freedom; we are afraid of losing our pet…

I think Chinese policies really protect most people from poverty, hunger and virus.

But I feel the way my motherland protects us more like treating cattle. She gives us enough to eat and nice places to live. But she doesn't care how we feel or what we think. Surely she doesn't care what we are screaming for, because it's just a howling in her ears.

I thank her for her kindness in letting us all get through the hard time, but I always think whether it's better to live happily like livestock or bitterly, but as a person with a clear self-awareness and self-consciousness?

Original URL: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Jw3zMe2LAu8Xuirtk2L-FA

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20220408013531/https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/S2bxlYiik_ZVpZwCImF8MQ

The screenshots below show that, by April 10, 2022, Tencent had taken down the essay and replaced it with a notice saying:

Unable to view this content because it violates regulations
This content was reported and confirmed by the platform of the following: violating relevant laws and regulations. 


A Piece of Prose

On April 14, 2022, a Weixin user posting as "Blackstarclub" (黑星俱樂部) posted a piece of prose on Weixin titled "The Patience of the Shanghainese is Far From Exhausted" (上海人的忍耐还远远没有到极限). Below is a full translation, which has attempted to retain the original formatting and punctuation:

The Patience of the Shanghainese is Far From Exhausted
 
In fact, it is not just the Shanghainese
Chinese people's patience is far from the limit
Most of our actions remain contained online
We repost  content that will be harmonized in short order
So many people in this world with any sense of normalcy weep when they see it
Outrageous, magical, inhuman events and news
But we're only sad for a day or two
Does anyone in Feng County mention it again, or dare raise it again?
Douyin influencers wipe their mouths after dining on bread leavened with human blood
Are you still going about your days happy as usual?
Is anyone really coming to speak for us?
Are there any voices speaking for the dead and dying in Shanghai?
Some, but not many. But where do we get off asking others to speak up?
We dare not even take any action on our own behalf
The only thing to do is to repost and repost
And hope "someone" can take care of it
Right?
What is "banal evil"?
Take a look at today's Shanghai
Many people say that this is not the Shanghai they know so well
I beg your pardon, the Shanghai you know so well doesn't exist.
It's just that the time for it to be truly tested hadn't arrived.
We grew too accustomed to exchanging freedom for some imaginary security
But what did we really get in exchange? What was it that we wanted?
I won't say more, because I'm no different, impotent to exert myself
We are still those Chinese people who laugh at the wasted youth of Hong Kong
The magical reality that we can bear, there's much more to come
Our patience is far from exhausted

上海人的忍耐还远远没有到极限

其实 不只是上海人
中国人的忍耐还远没有到极限
我们大多数人的行动还只停留在网上
转发那些不一会儿就被和谐的推送内容
那么多世界上任何正常人看了都会流泪的
那些 离谱 魔幻 毫无人性的事件和新闻
但是 我们也不过是难过个一两天 而已
丰县还有人再提吗 或者说 敢再提吗?
抖音大号们吃完人血馒头 擦干净嘴
不还是过着平时欢乐的日子吗?
有人真的来为我们发声吗?
为上海那些死去和即将死去的人发声吗?
有但不多 但 凭什么要求别人去发声呢?
我们连自己都不敢为自己去做任何行动
唯一做的只是转发再转发
希望“有人”能去管一管
对吧?
什么是“平庸之恶”?
看看如今的上海便知
很多人说 这不是我们熟悉的上海
不好意思 你熟悉的上海根本不存在
只不过是还没有到真正考验的时候罢了
我们太习惯用自由去换一些莫须有的保障
但换来的到底是什么呢?我们想要的是什么呢?
更多的我也不再说 因为我也一样 无能 为力
我们仍旧是嘲笑香港废青的那些中国人
我们能承受的魔幻现实 还有很多
我们的忍耐远远没到极限

Original URL: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LKX7PB6BPgRuevjCjw5dxg

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20220414083610/https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/LKX7PB6BPgRuevjCjw5dxg

The screenshots below show that, by April 16, 2022, Tencent had taken down the essay and replaced it with a notice saying:

Unable to view this content because it violates regulations
This content was reported and confirmed by the platform of the following: violating relevant laws and regulations.