China censored already before months of content for the Coronavirus

criticism of the government, and the spread of "rumors", calls for demonstrations: The Chinese surveillance state regulated for years, what is published in so

China censored already before months of content for the Coronavirus

criticism of the government, and the spread of "rumors", calls for demonstrations: The Chinese surveillance state regulated for years, what is published in social media and what not. And he continued this course of action apparently also with this novel Coronavirus. A study by researchers at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto in Canada shows that: China has deleted on the social networks shortly after the first warnings to the Coronavirus at the end of December news – "rumors" according to earlier statements by the authorities.

the researchers Investigated the popular Instant messaging service Wechat, as well as the live streaming service YY. In both the developers have built-in mechanisms, which certain words or word combinations are automatically censored, either as a Code in the App or via the Server. So for instance messages with the words "Virus" and "infected had been kept until the beginning of February," aimed back. Also, the Name of the Chinese President Xi Jinping or other government officials in connection with criticism of their approach against the Virus had fallen victim to the censor. As the researchers write on their Website, the developers of Wechat in February and placed hundreds of word combinations on the black list, after more and more by the novel Coronavirus were affected.

Also of the censorship of news which had to do with the Chinese Li Ruifeng to have been swallowed apparently. The 34-year-old doctor had already on 30. December on the new Virus indicated and had been made by the Chinese authorities muzzled (to the portrait). On 6. February he died of the disease, after he had plugged in to one of his patients requested. His death triggered a wave of indignation and anger in China's population. The Microblogging service Weibo censored also keywords in connection with Li, how many users wrote on Twitter. Were affected, among other things, posts with the Hashtag "I want freedom of expression".

pressure

Previous research by the Citizen Lab had shown, the pressure from the state are exposed to the Chinese software developer. Pressure, critical or sensitive data from the Public to keep away, to avoid sanctions. However, it is unclear what instructions had been given to the developer by the government, the authors write. Sure is according to the results, however, that the state had a relatively pronounced early restrictions: "Our investigation suggests that the company had already received in December, official guidelines, as the spread of the Virus became public," the researchers from the University of Toronto.

to be censored As many of the word combinations today, is unclear. The authors of the study assume, however, that both YY as well as Wechat have weakened with the spread of the Virus, the censorship. (sho)

Created: 05.03.2020, 11:49 PM

Updated Date: 05 March 2020, 13:01

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