Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sina Weibo Censors Searches About Five Women's Rights Activists

On April 14, 2015, the China Women’s Net website (operated by the China Women’s News under the sponsorship of the All China Women’s Federation) published an article entitled “China Police Release Five Women’s Rights Activists” (中国警方释放5位女权行动派). According to the article:
The five women's rights activists were detained in March 2015, with the reason for their detention being  to stop obstructing public thoroughfares. There was a strong reaction from the international community, with many expressions of support and opposition to their detentions. Lawyer Liang Xiaojun said that Wei Tingting, Wang Man, and Zheng Churan had already been released by police, but the status of another two remained unclear.
These screenshots show that the article was subsequently deleted. The original URL was: http://www.china-woman.com/2015-04/14/content_56077.htm

This screenshot was taken on April 20, 2015, and shows that search Baidu News for “Wei Tingting Wang Man Zheng Churan” returned no results.

These screenshots show that on March 27, 2015, Sina Weibo was censoring search results for "Women's Rights Taken Away" (女权 被带走) and on April 15, 2015, Sina Weibo was censoring search results for "Women's Rights Released" (女权 释放).
These screenshots show that on April 14, 2015, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Li Tingting" (李婷婷) and "Wu Rongrong" (武嵘嵘), the names of the other two women who were released. At the time of the publication of this post, it appears Sina Weibo has stopped blocking search results for these terms.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Baidu and Sina Weibo Begin Censoring Search Results for "Gao Yu"

On the morning of April 17, 2015, the Beijing Third Intermediate Court (北京市第三中级人民法院) published the following announcement on its official Sina Weibo:
"Today Sentence Was Announced in the Case of Gao Yu Illegally Supplying State Secrets Overseas" On April 17, the Beijing Third Intermediate Court publicly announced the sentence in the case of Gao Yu illegally supplying state secrets abroad. This court held that Gao Yu violated national laws and regulations by illegally providing state secrets to foreign personnel, that her actions constituted the crime of illegally supplying state secrets abroad, and sentenced the defendant Gao Yu to seven years imprisonment and one year of deprivation of political rights.
According to the court judgment, the state secret in question was the "Communist Party Central Committee Working Office [2013] Number 9 Document" (中办发[2013]9号文件), the title of which is the "Circular Regarding the Status of the Current Ideological Realm" (关于当前意识形态领域情况的通报).

In early May, 2013, several government sponsored web sites published reports about the issuance of Document No. 9. For example, on May 10, 2013, the state-sponsored Liaoyuan Daily (辽源日报)published an article on its front page entitled "City Party Organization Department Moves Quickly to Implement the Spirit of the 'Circular Regarding the Status of the Current Ideological Realm' and the 'Jilin: Innovate and Navigate for Rapid Development' Notices" (市委组织部迅速贯彻落实《关于当前意识形态领域情况的通报》及《吉林:创新领航催振兴》通讯精神). 

According to the court judgment, Gao Yu received a copy of Document No. 9 in June, 2013 from Yao Jianfu (姚监复), who obtained a copy based on his position as a retiree from the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the judgment Gao Yu provided a copy of the document to Mingjing (明镜) founder Ho Pin (何频), and that the text of the document was published in the online edition of Mingjing on August 19, 2013.

Gao Yu was detained on April 24, 2014.

After the verdict was announced, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled "Sentence About State Secrets, Not Freedom of Speech" (泄国家机密判7年与“言论自由”无关). Some excerpts: 
A few Chinese citizens would like to rely on Western forces. They falsely believe the Western support may exempt them from taking responsibility for crimes they have committed. Such thoughts are naïve, and, in a country whose authorities are pushing rule of law, increasingly dangerous.  
A lesson for Gao: The West is not something to be relied upon. Chinese citizens have to follow China's laws. When it comes to national interests, people should not be fooled by the so-called universal values. 
These screenshots show that, shortly after Gao Yu's verdict was announced, Baidu and Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Gao Yu."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Baidu Starts Censoring Information About CCTV Host Bi Fujian

On April 9, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “CCTV Host to be Punished for Mao Insults Seen in Video.” Some excerpts:
China Central Television (CCTV) on Wednesday announced that it would punish one of its hosts after a video footage of his political comments at a dining table went viral.  
Bi [Fujian] was seen in the video singing parts of Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, an iconic play created during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), featuring a Communist soldier, who disguised as a bandit to infiltrate local bandits in Tiger Mountain in Northeast China.  
He also used insults to describe late chairman Mao Zedong, saying that Mao led people to misery. 
In an article entitled “Famous TV Host Suspended for ‘Improper Remarks',” the state sponsored China Daily quoted Cheng Manli (程曼丽), a professor specializing in communication at Peking University, as saying:
"It does not mean we cannot share our opinions, but using ugly words and sarcasm to comment on Chinese leaders who have passed away is improper.” 
"The actions and words of celebrities are easily exaggerated in today's Internet era, which is transparent and can have a huge influence, so it is a must for the public figures to boost the quality of their speech and behavior. Otherwise, their images will be affected, such as the stars who were recently punished for drug use.” 
"Everyone should take responsibility for what he or she says in public and online. It's better, I think, to share different ideas in a normal way."
These screenshots show that Baidu began censoring search results for “Bi Fujian” (毕福剑) on April 9/10.

These screenshots show that Baidu shut down its “Bi Fujian” PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum on April 11/12.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

China’s Search Engines, News Websites Censor Images About Mass Suicide Attempt in Beijing

At around noon on April 4, 2015, state sponsored news websites such as the China Daily published a report entitled “Dozens of People Lie Down in Beijing’s Wangfujing Pedestrian Mall, Cause Unknown” (北京王府井步行街10余人躺地 原因不明).

At 1:30 pm on April 4 the Beijing police published an announcement regarding the incident on its official Sina Weibo.

According to an English language report published on the website of the state sponsored China Radio International:
More than 30 taxi drivers from Suifenhe in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province staged a protest in Beijing's main pedestrian street in Wangfujing on Saturday, appealing for the right to renew their taxi licenses.
. . . .
The individuals are reported to have drunk the pesticide. But the police intervened on time and sent the individuals to a hospital. They are all reported to be in a stable condition.
These screenshots show that the China Daily report (which included images of the incident)was deleted within hours after the official police announcement (which did not).

Original URL: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/micro-reading/china/2015-04-04/content_13494839.html

These screenshots show that Tencent revised its initial report on the incident to remove photographs taken at the scene and substitute a video report from China's state run media.

These screenshots were taken shortly after the police announcement was published, and show that two of China’s search engines - Baidu and Qihoo - were censoring search results for the phrase “Dozens Lie Down on Wangfujing Pedestrian Mall.” (王府井步行街10余人躺地)

These screenshots show that Sina Weibo was curating its results for "Wangfujing Suicide" (王府井 自杀).

Previous examples of censorship of mass suicide attempts:

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