Showing posts from November, 2012

Jinan Police: "Not Convenient" to Disclose Whether Facebook is Banned

On November 22, 2012, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled " Jinan Police Deny Issuing Warning: Logging On to Facebook Will Lead To Internet Being Cut Off " (济南警方否认发警告:登录facebook将断网). An excerpt: The Alleged Notice Yesterday at 6:00 pm, an Internet user named "Keso" posted an image on his Tencent Weibo account. The image content was a "Police Warning" with the seal of the "Jinan Internet Inspection Brigade" stating: "We have recently noticed that some evening employees have been logging onto illegal websites (facebook, twitter, myspace, etc) and noticed they are losing Internet access and calling the police. In order to cooperate with the police's real name registration system, we have decided that from today onward we will start to implement PPPOE real name registration accounts to go online." Last night the Jinan Public Security Internet Police Detatchment refuted this rumor to a Southern Metropo

Sina Weibo Fact Checking In Action - Murders and Disappearances

Ju Che's Post  On November 22, 2012, Sina Weibo user "Ju Che" (巨扯) posted the following : Li Xiang, the reporter who broke the gutter oil story, was killed. Now Jiang Weisuo, the man who took on the milk industry to expose melamine, is murdered. Immediately following that are reports that Li Yuanlong, the reporter of the five homeless kids who froze to death, has now been secretly  detained. The public servants of this dynasty are not taking care of the issues raised by the people, but instead are taking care of the people who raise the issues. 曾曝光地沟油的记者李翔被杀了, 曾曝光三聚氰胺的乳业打假人士蒋卫锁如今遇害了,当下报道毕节五名流浪儿童被冻死的记者李元龙如今被秘密逮捕了——我朝公仆们不是解决人民提出的问题,而是先解决提出问题的人民。 Sina administrators placed the following notice at the top the post: "This content is not factual information, and has already been handled. Details >>" (此内容为不实消息,已处理。 详情>>). That notice included a link labeled "Details" which pointed to a page showing the Sina Weibo user "Quanzhou Sui

Websites Delete Xinhua Report About Tibetan Self-Immolation in Xunhua, Qinghai

On November 20, 2012, most of China's large state-sponsored media outlets published a Xinhua article entitled "25 Year-Old Tibetan Man Injured in Self-Immolation in Xunhua, Qinghai" (青海省循化县25岁藏族男子自焚身亡). As these screenshots show, the report was deleted within hours. Screenshot showing the article before and after Sina deleted it. The People's Daily posted the article in at least three places: These screenshots were taken on November 20, and show Google Preview  displaying a People's Daily error message for those pages.  Rather than delete the article, the Guangming Daily replaced it with a completely unrelated article. As of the time of this posting, the story can still be found on the websites of the Global Times and Caixin:

Websites Delete Story, Ban Forums, and Censor Searches Relating to Baidu Founder's Private Life

On November 19, 2012, state-sponsored Caijing Magazine published an article on its English language website entitled "Will Baidu Have a New Decision Maker?" at this URL: This screenshot shows that by November 21 anyone attempting to access the article at that URL was being redirected to Caijing's home page. This screenshot, taken on November 19, shows that Baidu's Tieba would not allow users to establish a forum with the name "Ma Dongmin" (马东敏 - the name of Baidu founder Robin Li's wife), telling users "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this bar cannot be opened" (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。) This screenshot, taken on November 19, shows that a search on Sina Weibo for "Robin Li Divorce" (李彦宏 离婚) returns no results, just a notice saying "In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, search results for 'Li Yanhong

Baidu, Sina and Others Join Government Pilot Project to Control Online Publishing

On November 5, 2012, the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) published an article entitled  "Pilot Project Launched for Large-Scale Publishing Website Self-Control Mechanism" ( 大型出版网站自我约束机制试点工作启动 ). According to the article, the GAPP's Technology and Digital Publishing Office "selected ten websites that were representative in terms of scale, operations, and social influence" including Sina, Netease, Sohu, Tencent, and Baidu, to participate in a pilot project to: establish a nation-wide Internet publishing content editing process with relevant administrative agencies to strengthen analysis and decisionmaking regarding publishing hazards, earnestly carry out editorial responsibilities with respect to pre-publication screening, and achieve classification-based management of the content of publications. 建立健全网站出版内容编发流程和相应管理部门,加强传播风险研判,认真落实编辑责任制先审后发,实现对出版内容的分类分级管理。 The article went on to say: the pilot websites will carry out self-examinatio

New Politburo Standing Committee Announced, Sina Weibo Relaxes Censorship of "Politburo"

At around noon on November 15, 2012, Xinhua announced the " List of members of Standing Committee of Political Bureau of 18th CPC Central Committee ": Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli. These screenshots show that, at 11:00 am that morning searches for "Politburo Standing Committee" (中央政治局常委) on Sina Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice. At about the same time Xinhua published its announcement, however, Sina Weibo began returning results for that phrase.

Months Before 7 Members of Standing Committee Announced, Sina Weibo Censored Searches for "Nine Becomes Seven"

On November 16, 2012, the China Daily published an article entitled " A New Generation of Leaders Unveiled ." Some excerpts: A new generation of leaders took to the stage on Thursday with Communist Party of China chief Xi Jinping acknowledging the challenges ahead, including improving people's livelihoods and tackling corruption, and confidently pledging to overcome them. Xi was sworn in on Thursday as general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, leading the seven-member Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. . . . . The other six members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau are Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli. They were elected at the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee following the Party's 18th National Congress. Previously the Standing Committee had comprised nine members. The screenshot below was taken on July 20, 2012, and shows that a search on Sina Weibo for &q

As Politburo Standing Committee Announcement Nears, Baidu Relaxes Censorship of Some Current and Potential Members' Names

As noted previously , during the first week of November, Baidu began censoring the names of most of the men widely speculated to join the Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee, including Zhang Dejiang (张德江), Li Yuanchao (李源潮), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Liu Yunshan (刘云山), Zhang Gaoli (张高丽), and Wang Qishan (王岐山) during the 18th Party Congress that began on November 8, 2012. At that time Baidu restricted search results for their names to a white list comprising its own Baike and about a dozen websites under the direct control of the central government and the Communist Party. Now Baidu has tweaked its censorship once again. As these screenshots of a searches for "Li Yuanchao" and "Zhang Gaoli" show, at some point in the second week of November, Baidu relaxed its censorship of these names, and is now returning search results from its broad white list, which includes large China-based news and portal websites such as Sina. "Li Yuanchao" &q

Blast From the Past: Censorship of Responses to Wen Jiabao's 2010 Call for Political Reforms

On August 20 and 21, 2010, Wen Jiabao conducted an "inspection trip" to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. On August 20, Wen made what the state run press called an "important speech" at a meeting to  review work reports from Guangdong and Shenzhen. An excerpt: It is not only necessary to promote economic reform, but also to promote political reform. Without  the guarantee of political reform, the achievements of economic reform will be lost, and the goal  of modernization cannot be achieved. We must  protect the people's democratic rights and legitimate  interests and extensively mobilize and organize the people to manage state, social, and cultural  affairs in accordance with law. At a system level we must solve the problems of over-centralized  and unrestrained power, and create the conditions for the people to criticize and oversee the  government, and resolutely punish corruption. We must build a

As 18th Party Congress Convenes, Baidu Censors Names Of Politburo Committee Candidates, Zhidao, and Tieba

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was convened on November 8, 2012. This screenshot shows that Baidu stopped censoring searches for relevant terms such as "18 Big" (十八大) some time between July and September 2012. The change in censorship may have been timed to coincide with the September 28 announcement by  China's official news agency Xinhua that "The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is proposed to convene on Nov. 8 in Beijing." These screenshots show that, while Baidu continued to provide seemingly uncensored search results for "18 Big" on November 8, it had banned Tieba forums with that term, and returned no search results for that term on its user-generated question & answer product, Zhidao. Baidu apologizes that it is illegal to open Tieba forums for "18 Big" Baidu says it can find no questions or answers containing the phrase "18 Big." In addition,

As 18th Party Congress Convenes, Sina Weibo Removes Censorship Notice, Steers Users to Official Content, Obscures User Posts

Update November 9, 2012 - It appears that Sina Weibo has started displaying its censorship notice again - see below. On November 7, 2012, China's official news service Xinhua announced that the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is scheduled to open on November 8. These screenshots show that in the days preceding the opening of the 18th Party Congress Sina Weibo stopped censoring phrases like "18th Big Meeting" (十八大) and the names of current members Politburo Standing Committee like "Xi Jinping" (习近平). Sina continued, however, to censor names of family members. These screenshots show that, not only is Sina censoring searches for the name of Xi's daughter, Xi Mingze (习明泽), it has also stopped providing a censorship notice, and is instead saying it is unable to locate any results. At the same time, Sina also began censoring terms that sound similar to "18th Big Meeting" but that would be likely to point to u

Reports About "Watch Official" Li Dejin's Censorship Get Censored

For years Chinese Internet users have gone online to point out government officials that seem to be living beyond their means. China's state-sponsored media typically then tries to follow-up with their own reports. Sometimes they get censored, sometimes not. Railways Official Sheng Guangzu For example, back in September 2011, a Weibo user using the pseudonym "Blossom Mountain General Secretary" (花果山总书记), posted that he had noticed that in a report on the Wenzhou high speed train crash the railways minister, Sheng Guangzu (盛光祖) was wearing a 70,000 yuan Rolex and one of his deputies, Lu Dongfu (陆东福), was wearing a 50,000 yuan model. He launched a survey of "Connoisseurs of Luxury Watches" (鉴表达人) on Weibo. These screenshots taken in September 2011 show that, while searches for "Lu Dongfu" returned thousands of results, searches for "Blossom Mountain General Secretary" and "Sheng Guangzu" did not return any results, just a censo