采访/陈汉 编辑/王子琦 后制/舒灿
Communist Censorship Finally Hits WeChat
On the 13th, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) annual congress meetings concluded, massive popular accounts of Chinese social media WeChat were shut down. Netizens call it “WeChat Massacre."
It was said that another wave of censorship by the CCP is hitting the Internet.
Thursday, Chinese Internet was circulated with posts: Massacre to WeChat, the bloggers have gone crazy. Accordingly, massive WeChat accounts were blocked and even shut down. Many netizens also posted the screen shots to prove the accounts
The closed accounts included the popular Chinese blogger Luo Changping, who once reported the alleged corruption of National Development and Reform Commission
committee Liu Tienan.
Blogger, “Reporter Hao Cheng" displayed a screenshot of the closed account and complained about this sudden ban. “Reporter Hao Cheng" was certified by Weibo as a China Business Media journalist. On the 13th Weibo post, “Reporter Hao Cheng" wrote: WeChat, my account had 17,000 subscribers, and you just shut me down like this?
Zhang Haitao, Xinjiang activist: “A number of blog sites that I have routinely watched were blocked. Maintenance of stability has been done at all costs.
Rather than reflect on its conduct to safe guard the rule of law and human rights, the CCP consolidated the prison walls."
WeChat is a mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent in China. Since its launch in 2011, WeChat had over 500 million users.
Many believe the crackdown on WeChat is another wave of tighter Internet censorship by the CCP after the annual congress meetings.
Tencent stated the recent users’ blockade was a measure to eliminate illegal sales activities on WeChat.
However, the Chinese netizens suspect the coincidence of many activists’accounts being deleted, upon which Tencent did not respond.
Ms. Tam, an overseas Chinese in Malaysia: “I believe it was to block sensitive issues, such as the persecution of religions, the widespread corruption, and the human rights issues. The CCP forbids discussion. Simply put, it is all about the power, and the money behind the power."
Zhang Xinyu, founder of Global Information Freedom Movement website, gifree.com:"The conscientious intellectuals care, but the CCP don ‘t. They only care about handing on their rule to their own descendants. So, what ‘s good about this? They ‘d say it ‘s good to them, not to the nation."
Visiting scholar at Columbia University, Wen Yunchao, explains that the fate of engaging in blog activities in a regime with a policy of high censorship was doomed at the moment when it was started.
The blockade of the WeChat is just a step in the CCP’s overall plan.
Wen Yunchao, visiting scholar at Columbia University: “It was confirmed at the propaganda department work conference last year to uphold the Party guidance.
That means no independent media and bloggers. If Weibo was blocked earlier, any other similar social media such as WeChat of course will not persist. Not to mention the so-called ‘bad information ‘ was identified by the CCP."
Many Sina Weibo users lamented, WeChat was targeted much faster than Weibo back then. Other netizens also commented: The censorship manipulator has finally extended from Weibo to WeChat.
Last year, CCP targeted the popular Weibo users and warned their posts of ‘damaging ‘. It was also ruled that for posts forwarded for 500 times or
receiving 5,000 viewers,the netizens are subject to three years of imprisonment.
Thus, on September 15, netizen Xue Manzi, a Chinese American, was handcuffed to appeal “guilty" on the state run media, CCTV. Although the public generally believe Xue Manzi was displayed to warn and suppress the Chinese wish for freedom of expression.
Interview/Chenhan Edit/Wang Ziqi Post-Production/Sucan