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Friday, July 8, 2011

Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor "7.5" On Second Anniversary of July 5, 2009 Xinjiang Unrest

On July 4, 2011, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Getting Over It." Some excerpts:
Two years after deadly riots in Urumqi shocked the nation and the world, the capital of northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region appears to be a model of peace and stability, held together by increased security measures and improving living conditions.
. . . .
The increased number of armed police patrolling downtown streets seems to be one of the only reminders that there was an ugly episode of violence that took the lives of 197 people.
To help guarantee peace in the city, some 40,000 surveillance cameras have also been installed on buses, in schools, supermarkets and on the streets. 
. . . .
He Weifang, law professor at Peking University who worked at the Shihezi University in Xinjiang from 2009 to 2011, said the region is “over-emphasizing stability preservation.”
“It’s understandable that stability is very important for a complex place like Xinjiang. But if the government over-emphasizes stability preservation, it might misread some message and overact,” he was quoted by Phoenix TV as saying. “In this case, it might fuel tension between Han and Uyghur people,” he added.  Most of those who died in the 2009 riots were Han. 
This screenshot was taken on July 5, 2011, and show that a search on Baidu's Tieba () Postbar forum for "75" (七五) returned no results, just a notice saying "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum cannot be opened at this time." (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。):


These screenshots were also taken on July 5, 2011, and show that searches on Sina Weibo for "7.5" and "75"(七五) returned no results, just a notice saying "In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, searches for '7.5/七五' have not been displayed" (根据相关法律法规和政策,“何培蓉”搜索结果未予显示).