Internet Censorship on the First Anniversary of the White Paper Movement

The White Paper Revolution, also known as the White Paper Movement, A4 Revolution, Blank Paper Protests, was a series of protests that occurred across China in November 2022. Protesters used blank sheets of paper as a form of silent protest to symbolize the government's censorship and suppression of free speech, and chanted slogans such as "End zero-COVID," "We want human rights," and "Down with the Communist Party!"Several factors contributed to the rise of the White Paper Revolution: Frustration with the zero-COVID policy : The policy's strict measures, including mass lockdowns, travel restrictions, and mandatory quarantines, had caused significant economic disruption and social unrest. Many people felt that the policy was no longer sustainable and that the government was prioritizing control over people's well-being. Anger over the Xinjiang fire : The protests were further fueled by a deadly fire that occurred in Urumqi, Xinjiang, on Nove

Xu Zhiyong's Statement at His Final Appeal

 On November 24, 2023, former PRC civil rights lawyer Teng Biao posted the following statement: In the cases of lawyers #Xuzhiyong and #Dingjiaxi, the Shandong High Court just announced its second-instance judgment, rejecting the appeal and upholding the original judgment. 14 years for Xu and the 12 years for Ding.  The Council of the Bar Associations in Europe (CCBE) awarded this year’s Human Rights Award to imprisoned human rights lawyers Zou Xingtong, Xu Zhiyong, and Ding Jiaxi.  Two days from now it will also be the first anniversary of the White Paper Movement. Dr. Xu Zhiyong said loudly when he arrived at the court that it was almost dawn and the Communist Party only had a few days left. After that he was restrained. When the judge read out the ruling, Dr. Xu said: Ridiculous! He also knew he had won the European Bar Association’s Human Rights Award. #许志永 和 #丁家喜 律师案,山东高院刚刚二审宣判,驳回上诉,维持原判。许14年,丁12年。 欧洲律师协会委员会(CCBE)将本年度的人权奖颁给在囚的人权律师邹幸彤丶许志永及丁家喜。 两天后也是白纸运动一周年 许志永博士在到达法庭时大声说,天快要亮了,共产党没

From the Archives: Censorship of "Civil Society"

Recently I've been reviewing my archives of screenshots illustrating Internet censorship in the PRC. I've got images going back to 2008, and one of the most interesting things to me is to find screenshots showing what was NOT being censored back then, but is being censored now. For example, the screenshot below  was taken on January 12, 2011, and shows that a search on Baidu for "Civil Society" (公民社会) returned results from a variety of sources including social media ( is Baidu's "PostBar" forum website) and overseas websites ( is the website of National Chengzhi University in Taiwan). The following image was taken on November 14, 2023, and shows that the same search on Baidu now only returns results from a whitelist of websites under the direct control of the PRC central government and Communist Party.  The following screenshot shows the same restricted results on the last page of Baidu's search results. The following screen

Tencent's Weixin Censors 1980's People's Daily Article on Cult of Personality

On September 3, 2023, an article titled "People's Daily: Exaggerating the Personal Role of Leaders to an Extreme Level will Lead to Superstitious Belief in the Individual" (人民日报:把领袖个人的作用夸大到极端的程度,就会出现对个人的迷信) was posted on the "The Reading Drawer" (抽屉读书) public Weixin account. It was censored within 24 hours and replaced with a notice saying: "This content cannot be viewed due to violations. Complaints were made by users and audited by the platform. This involves the use of words, pictures, videos, etc. that exaggerated, seduced and violated objective facts to maliciously incite, confuse and mislead users. Check the corresponding rules." Original URL: Archives: I checked, and the Weixin article is a word-for-word copy paste of the referenced People's Daily article, which was published on Page 2 of the July 4, 1980 edition, accordin

Science with PRC Characteristics: CAS Academics Must "Toe Party Line"

 On September 6, 2023, the state sponsored media outlet Caixin published an article titled "China’s Top Academics Told to Toe Party Line With Public Statements." Some excerpts: China’s top science academy has updated its code of conduct with new rules that require members ensure their public statements are “in line with the general policy of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” and prohibit openly expressing academic views unrelated to their field of expertise. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) code of conduct, which consists of 33 articles in six chapters, is an update of a version released nine years ago. . . . . Compared to the 2014 version, the latest code adds a chapter that specifies what CAS scientists are prohibited from doing. Specifically, the new version the Chinese Academy of Sciences Code of Conduct (中国科学院院士行为规范(试行)) con

Academics Criticise Proposed Public Security Administrative Punishments Law Revisions

 As noted previously on this blog, in early Septmber 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress solicited public comment on proposed revisions to the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law through September 30, 2023. One of the most drastic proposals was the addition of a new Article 34: Anyone who commits any of the following acts shall be detained for not less than five days but not more than ten days, or fined not less than 1,000 yuan but not more than 3,000 yuan; if the circumstances are relatively serious, they shall be detained for not less than ten days but not more than fifteen days, and may also be fined not more than 5,000 yuan: (1) Engaging in activities in public venues that damage the environment and atmosphere of commemorating heroes and martyrs; (2) Wearing or adorning, or forcing others to wear or adorn, clothing or symbols in public venues that are detrimental to the spirit of the Chinese nation or hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation; (

Proposed Revisions to the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law and Their Impact on Freedom of Speech

Based on my research in compiling "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China" ( ), three of the six offenses commonly employed by the PRC government to prosecute speech appear in the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law ( 治安管理处罚法 ) . They are: Article 25 (Disrupting Public Order by Disseminating Rumors) . Example: In 2015, a court held the police did not violate Zhang Guanghong's rights when they jailed him for seven days and confiscated his computer on the grounds that he "used his own Sina Weibo to spread rumors and posts about the 'Five Heroes of Wolf Tooth Mountain' and distorted the image of those revolutionary martyrs." See "State Prosecutions," pp. 540-546. Article 26 (Other Acts Disturbing the Peace) . Example: In 2018, court found that police did not violate Feng Zhouguan's rights by subjecting him to five days administrative detention for referring to Xi Jinpin