Sunday, April 24, 2022

Covid-19 Series - Censorship of the "Voices of April"

PRC based websites are once again censoring discussion of a matter relating to public health and government accountability. Past examples can be found here: Examples of Censorship and Sanctions of Speech About Public Events in China, which discusses the censorship of:

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • The 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
  • Babies Poisoned by Melamine in Milk Formula
  • Babies Poisoned by Mercury in Milk Formula
  • The 2011 Wenzhou Train Collision
  • The 2012 Beijing Floods
  • The 2013 Mass Suicide Attempt in Beijing
  • The 2013 Lushan Earthquake
  • Chai Jing's 2015 Anti-Pollution Video "Under the Dome"

This time, the target of censorship is a video. On April 22, 2022, a video began circulating on the Internet titled "Sounds of April" (四月之声, or "Voices of April"). What's On Weibo described it as "a compilation of real audio snippets from conversations recorded in Shanghai throughout April, providing an emotional and heart-wrenching account of what residents in Shanghai have gone through since the Covid crisis started in their city."

Censorship on Social Media

These screenshots were taken on April 24, 2022, and show that searches for " 四月之声" on Sina Weibo and Tencent's Sogou's Weixin (WeChat) vertical returned no results.

Sina Weibo told users "Apologies, unable to locate results relevant to 'Voices of April.'" (抱歉,未找到"四月之声"相关结果。)
 
Tencent's Sogou telsl users searching for Weixin posts "We did not find any relevant articles on public Weixin accounts." (没有找到相关的微信公众号文章)

Censorship on Video Platforms

These screenshots were taken on April 24, 2022, and show that searches for "四月之声" on the video verticals for Baidu, Sogou, and Qihoo returned no results for that video.

 By contrast, here is a screenshot for the same query taken on the same day on Bing's video search (from an IP address outside of China).

Censorship on Zhihu as Seen In Baidu Search Results

Here is a look at what kinds of results Baidu web search returned on April 24, 2022 for a search for "四月之声."


The following are translations of the Zhihu snippets featured on the Baidu results page.

Zhao Yingnan's thoughts: Do you know "The Voices of April"? - Zhihu
2 days ago, Posted on 2022-04-23 00:11 ​ 13 ​points
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/pin/1500989857313296384

What do you think of the repeated deletion of "Voices of April"? - Zhihu
April 23, 2022- How to view "Voices of April" being deleted ...
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529519628

Why was the Voices of April deleted? - Zhihu
April 23, 2022-Why was the Voices of April deleted? Close...
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529523040

What do you think of the "Voices of April" video in Shanghai 404 affair? - Zhihu
April 23, 2022-How to view Shanghai's "Voice of April…
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529495822/answer/2452837136

赵英男 的想法: 你们知道“四月之声”么? - 知乎
2天前 你们知道“四月之声”么? 发布于 2022-04-23 00:11 ​ 13 ​分
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/pin/1500989857313296384

如何看待“四月之声”被反复删除这件事? - 知乎
2022年04月23日- 如何看待“四月之声”被...
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529519628
四月之声为什么被删? - 知乎
2022年04月23日- 四月之声为什么被删? 关...
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529523040

如何看待上海“四月之声”视频的404事件? - 知乎
2022年04月23日-首页 会员 发现 等你来答 ​ 无障碍 登录 如何看待上海“四月之声…
Result URL: https://www.zhihu.com/question/529495822/answer/2452837136
The screenshots below were taken on April 24, 2022, and show that in every case clicking on Baidu's Zhihu result links leads to either a "404" or a notice that the content has been removed (该内容已删除). 


Censorship on Zhihu As Seen in Yahoo! Search Results

Baidu does not provide caching of its Zhihu results, but Yahoo! does. Here is a look at what what kinds of results Yahoo! web search returned on April 24, 2022 for a search for "四月之声 site:zhihu.com."

Documentary "The Voices of April"
2022/4/22 · Documentary "Voices of April". 14. [N.B. - the snippet starts with a line from "The Dream of the Red Chamber," which is difficult to translate. Here, it could be taken as a sarcastic comment that even in a civilized society its not possible to satisfy all the people all the time] . . 21 people endorsed this article. I am so angry that my hands are shaking, I am so angry that I can't express it. . Scan the code to see, I need to take a moment. . Posted on 2022-04-22 09:00. Voice of April.
www.zhihu.com › topic › 25445349

Voices of April - Zhihu
Documentary "The Voice of April". 14.
[N.B. - the snippet starts with a line from "The Dream of the Red Chamber," which is difficult to translate. Here, it could be taken as a sarcastic comment that even in a civilized society its not possible to satisfy all the people all the time] . I am so angry that my hands are shaking, I am so angry that I can't express it. . Scan the code to see, I need to take a moment. . …. Number of questions. 0.
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503349547

Voices of April - Zhihu
2022/4/22 · A recent video called "Voice of April" has been widely forwarded on major platforms, and it is constantly being harmonized. Its video clips of all kinds of Shanghai voices since April, which makes it uncomfortable to watch, but it is all real....  
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503329787

Trauma and "The Voices of April" - Zhihu
"If you want to rebuild social order and comfort the victims, the first task is to remember the atrocities and expose the truth" - "Trauma and Recovery." Today a video called "The Voices of April" is being widely shared among circles of friends, and its being harmonized as soon as gets spotted on a web page. The video is clips of April. . .
www.zhihu.com › question › 529442203

How would you rate "The Voices of April" from Shanghai? - Zhihu

2022/4/22 · Zhao Lijian also read a lyric from the song "The Answer is Blowing in the Wind" by Nobel Prize winner and famous American singer Bob Dylan, "How many times must a person turn his head and pretend he doesn't see?  How many ears must a man grow before he can hear the people cry; how many lives must he sacrifice before he knows that too many have died?
www.zhihu.com › topic › 25445349

Voices of April - Zhihu
Zhihu, a high-quality Q&A community on the Chinese Internet and an original content platform where creators gather, was officially launched in January 2011, with the brand mission of "letting people better share knowledge, experience and insights, and find their own answers". Zhihu, with its serious, professional and friendly community atmosphere, unique product mechanism and structured and accessible high-quality content, gathers Chinese Internet technology, business, film and television...
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503381255

Voices of April - Zhihu
2022/4/22 Is it necessary to delete the Voices of April?


纪录片《四月之声》 - 知乎
2022/4/22 · 纪录片《四月之声》. 十四. 纵使举案齐眉,到底意难平。. 21 人 赞同了该文章. 气到手抖,气到无法言表。. 扫码可看,我需要缓冲一下。. 发布于 2022-04-22 09:00. 四月之声.
www.zhihu.com › topic › 25445349
四月之声 - 知乎
纪录片《四月之声》. 十四. 纵使举案齐眉,到底意难平。. 气到手抖,气到无法言表。. 扫码可看,我需要缓冲一下。. …. 问题数. 0. 刘看山 知乎指南 知乎协议 知乎隐私保护指引.
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503349547
四月之声 - 知乎
2022/4/22 · 最近一篇叫《四月之声》的视频在各大平台广为转发,又不断被和谐。视频剪辑了四月以来各种上海声音,让人看得难受,但这又都是真实的。关注 我们跳走了 发 四月 可获取 ...
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503329787
创伤与《四月之声》 - 知乎
“想要重建社会秩序,让受害者得到抚慰,首要任务就是记住暴行,并揭露真相” ——《创伤与复原》今天一个叫做《四月之声》的视频在朋友圈大量转发,又不断看到被和谐的页面。视频中剪辑了4月上海疫情爆发以来的各…
www.zhihu.com › question › 529442203
如何评价来自上海的《四月之声》? - 知乎
2022/4/22 · 赵立坚还念了诺贝尔文学奖得主、美国著名歌手鲍勃·迪伦的歌曲《答案在风中飘》中的一段歌词,“一个人要转头多少次,还假装视而不见;一个人要长几双耳朵,才能听见民众哭泣;还要牺牲多少生命,他才知道太多人已经死去?
www.zhihu.com › topic › 25445349 
四月之声 - 知乎
知乎,中文互联网高质量的问答社区和创作者聚集的原创内容平台,于 2011 年 1 月正式上线,以「让人们更好的分享知识、经验和见解,找到自己的解答」为品牌使命。知乎凭借认真、专业、友善的社区氛围、独特的产品机制以及结构化和易获得的优质内容,聚集了中文互联网科技、商业、影视 ...
zhuanlan.zhihu.com › p › 503381255 
四月之声 - 知乎
2022/4/22 · 四月之声有删除的必要吗 无障碍 写文章 登录 四月之声 扫眉才子 医生 8 人赞同了该文章 四月之声有删除的必要吗 发布于 2022-04-22 23:41 四月是你的谎言(动画) 赞同 8 ...
Below are screenshots showing Yahoo!'s cached results (left) and what users see if they go went to the Zhihu links at that time (right).






 
Below is a translation of one of the censored Zhihu posts from the Yahoo! search result page.

https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/p/503329787

Trauma and the Voices of April
 
Sun Yunting, Counselor

It may be that its not external walls that bind you, let's work together on what's on the inside.

75 people liked this article

"If you want to restore social order and comfort the victims, the first task is to remember the atrocities and expose the truth"
---------- "Trauma and Recovery"

Today a video called "The Voices of April" is being widely shared among circles of friends, and its being harmonized as soon as it gets spotted on a web page. The video is clips of various voices since the outbreak of the Shanghai epidemic in April. The warm, loving, powerless, angry, sad video is constantly being both harmonized and preserved, and the process of forwarding is very similar to those clients who come for counseling about a traumatic experience.

"The Voices of April" is nothing but a true account of what happened in Shanghai in April, but the  process of harmonizing it seems to raise doubts – Is this what happened? Is it that serious? Forget these bad things, and remember the voice of positive energy! Just act as if nothing happened!

Just like those patients who had severe trauma in their early years (emotional abuse or physical violence, long-term emotional neglect, etc.), their parents or the people around them denied or ignored their injuries. Such voices accompanied them as they grew up: What happened couldn't have really been that serious. Isn't it good to look forward now, what the point of thinking about that? Why do you always remember those bad things? Why don't you think about the good things? Why are you so melodramatic? You focusing on these things is really putting your parents out. They love you.

As they sit in the counseling room they are unable to confirm the reality and pain of their physical and emotional abuse, and they want to prove to themselves and the counselor that they have been hurt, like the police collecting evidence. This process continues for a long time in the beginning of the counseling. Counselors and clients work together to identify injuries, especially for those who have been emotionally abused. They are unable to identify their own injuries, and many times the feelings and facts are seriously denied and distorted. The city of Shanghai and we have also experienced a similar process. For example, YS News reported that Shanghai was peaceful, but the people of Shanghai were in dire straits.

In the past 100 years, our nation has experienced many great collective traumas. Our grandfathers have experienced wars, the Cultural Revolution, and famine. The elderly in Shanghai have to experience such things again in their later years, which is incredibly hard to take. When suffering is in the past, looking forward is the way to survive. But when one is in the midst of trauma and suffering, crying, fear, anger, shouting, and pleading for help is also a human instinct and right.

创伤与《四月之声》
咨询师孙云婷
困住你的或许不外面的城,让我们一起来为你的内在城市工作

75人赞同了该文章

"想要重建社会秩序,让受害者得到抚慰,首要任务就是记住暴行,并揭露真相"
----------《创伤与复原》

今天一个叫做《四月之声》的视频在朋友圈大量转发,又不断看到被和谐的页面。视频中剪辑了4 月上海疫情爆发以来的各种声音,温暖的有爱的无力的愤怒的悲伤的视频不断被和谐又被留存、 | 转发的过程,像极了在咨询中那些有过创伤的来访的经历。

《四月之声》只是在真实记录4月上海发生的事情,但是和谐的过程似乎在质疑,这些发生过吗? 有那么严重吗?忘记这些些糟心的事情吧,记住正能量的声音!就当一切都没发生过吧!

就像是那些早年有过严重创伤(被情感虐待或肢体暴力,长期情感忽视等)的病人,父母或者周围 人否认或者忽视他们受到的伤害,这样的声音伴随他们的成长过程,哪有那么严重重都过去了,向前 看现在不是挺好的吗,想那些干什么?你怎么总是记住那些糟糕的事情呢?不想点好的?你怎 么这么矫情,计较这些你父母也是不得已,他们爱你。

他们在咨询室中无法确认自己被身体及情感虐待的实及痛苦,像是警察搜集证据一样想要向自己 及咨询师证明他们受过的伤害,这个过程在咨询开始的很长一段时间持续着,咨询师和来访一起去 确认受到的伤害,尤其是那些被情感虐待的来访,无法确认自己受到的伤害,甚至很多时候感受和 事实被严重地否认和扭曲。而上海这座城市及我们也经历着类似的过程,例如YS新闻报道上海一 片祥和,可是上海人民处在水深火热之中,一些求助的声音被404,《四月之声》被404.

我们这个民族在近100年,经历了很多大的集体创伤,爷辈经历了战争,文化大革命,饥荒而 上海的老年人到晚年还要再经历一次这样的事情,真的是难受。受苦难,过去,向前看是存活 下来的方式。但是在创伤和苦难中哭泣、恐惧、愤怒、呐喊、求救也是人的本能和权利。


 

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...