2012 in Review: 10 Examples of Free Speech With Mainland Chinese Characteristics

Originally posted on Fei Chang Dao

1. "真相"

在5月26日到6月9日,在新浪微博搜索“真相”不会返回任何结果,只有一个提示“根据相关法律法规和政策,“真相”搜索结果未予显示。”

在6月10日到20日之间,新浪微博又开始显示“真相”的搜索结果。
 

在5月26日新浪微博搜索”真相“的截图

2. 薄熙来,谷开来,王立军

时间线

  • 2011年11月14日,谷开来-重庆省委书记薄熙来的妻子和张晓军-重庆共产党的雇员毒杀看了Neil Heywood (尼尔伍德)。
  • 2012年1月28日: 王立军, 重庆公安局长, 报告薄和谷可能使杀害伍德的凶手.
  • 1月29日: 薄斥责了王,并打了王一巴掌。
  • 2月2日: 王被撤职.
  • 2月6日: 王在下午2:31进入成都美国领事馆.
  • 2月7日: 王在晚上11:35离开成都美国领事馆
  • 2月8日: 在早上10:54,新华官方微博报告王”接受休假式的治疗“.
  • 3月19日:一份名字为”王立军私自进入美国驻成都总领馆并滞留事件进行调查评估的通报“的文件在互联网上出现.
  • 3月26日: 英国政府要求中国政府调查海伍德的死亡。
  • 4月10日: 中国宣布薄不再担任中国政治局和共产党的职务,谷正在因海伍德之死被调查。
  • 8月9日: 谷和张在合肥受审.
  • 8月20日: 谷被判有罪,死缓.
  • 9月24日: 王被判有罪,15年监禁。
  • 9月28日:新华社报道: "薄被开除党籍,任何公众职务,将面对争议"

微博审查

在2月8日,新浪微博开始审查对”王立军“的搜索。

在3月15日至17日,新浪微博开始审查对”薄熙来“的搜索。
在3月26日,在腾讯微博搜索”Neil Heywood“有超过70个结果。但在3月27日,搜索不再返回任何任何结果,只有一个审查提示。
新浪微博在审判结束几小时内就停止了对”谷开来“的审查。
腾讯微博在审判结束几小时内就停止了对”王立军“的审查。
新浪和腾讯在新华社公布薄熙来会”面对正义“几小时内就停止对”薄熙来“和”薄瓜瓜“的审查。
 

新浪微博在3月中对”薄熙来“开始审查的截图。

搜索引擎的审查
在2月8日早晨,在百度搜索”王立军叛逃美领馆“有上百个结果,但在当天晚上百度不再返回结果,只有一个审查提示。
在2月21日,百度开始审查”薄熙来 请辞“。

在3月15日,百度开始审查”薄熙来 被免职“。

在3月19日,百度开始审查”王立军私自进入美国驻成都总领馆并滞留事件进行调查评估的通报“。

在3月26日,在百度搜索“Neil Heywood”搜索有超过 26,000个结果。在3月27日,搜索不再返回任何结果,只有一个审查提示。

在4月8日, 百度将对”薄熙来“的搜索限制到严格白名单。

在4月10日,百度将 "谷开来" “王立军”和 “薄瓜瓜”限制到严格白名单。

在4月9日至11日,百度停止显示对在白名单域以外的域搜索“薄熙来”的结果。

在4月12日至13日,搜索开始审查对”王立军“的搜索。

在各种时间对."Neil Heywood"进行百度搜索。

3. 陈光诚

陈光诚和美国大使骆家辉

 

时间线
 

  • 4月20日: 陈光诚逃离非官方的长达一年半的软禁,他翻过一堵墙并躲在邻居家的猪圈。
  • 4月23日: 陈和何培蓉见面,驱车北京.
  • 4月26日: 陈进入北京的美国大使馆。
  • 5月2日:中国宣称陈“自愿"离开大使馆,并在美国大使骆家辉陪同下进入北京的朝阳医院
  • 5月3日:中国政府控制的媒体开始报道此次事故.
  • 5月20日: 陈飞往纽约.

微博的自我审查

新浪微博在此事件之前就是审查”陈光诚“了。在2012年4月27日,新浪却没有审查”CGC“。在陈光诚逃跑报道几小时内,搜索”cgc“不再返回任何结果,只有一个审查提示。
在4月27日,在新浪微博上搜索”pearlher“(何培蓉的网名)有52000个结果。但当天下午进行搜索就没有任何结果,只有一个审查提示。
在5月2日6点下午,新浪微博搜索”自行离开“有300000个结果。但6:30分,搜索没有任何结果,只有审查提示。
在5月2日4:20下午,新浪微博搜索”朝阳医院“有200000个结果,但在5点,搜索没有任何结果,只有一个审查提示。
在5月2日4:20下午,新浪微博搜索”骆大使“有超过300000个结果。但在5点30分搜索没有任何结果,只有一个审查提示。
 


新浪微博开始审查"pearlher"-何培蓉的网名,何培蓉是陈光诚的朋友。

搜索引擎的审查

在2012年4月27日进行百度搜索“陈光诚”有两页(大概20个)结果,但所有结果都是被中共中央直接控制的。在5月5日搜索返回超过200000个结果,但是有一个部分审查的提示。

在2012年4月27日进行百度搜索“陈光诚 美使馆”没有任何结果,只有一个审查提示。但在5月6日进行相同的搜索没有审查提示,返回了24000个结果
 


百度在中国政府媒体报道此事件以后就停止审查“陈光诚 美使馆”,截图见上

4. 彭博社揭露习近平家庭的财产

在2012年6月29日下午,彭博社发表了“习近平家族财富过亿,权贵精英身家几何”,摘录如下:

据彭博社的研究,习家的大部分资产都可以追踪到习的姐姐,63岁的齐桥桥;她的丈夫邓家贵61岁;他们的女儿张燕南,33岁。
. . . .
邓家贵还拥有江西稀土和稀有金属钨业有限公司18%的间接股份。这种可以用于风力涡轮和美国的智能炸弹中的金属因为中国收紧了供应而价格飙升。
. . . .
齐桥桥的女儿张燕南在合康亿盛投资317万元,三年后这家总部位于北京的电气设备制造商于2010年公开上市。根据合康亿盛的创始人刘锦成在清华网站上的资料,他和齐桥桥曾就读于同一个EMBA班。
. . . .
习近平的妹夫吴龙开了一家名叫"新邮通信设备有限公司"的通信公司。根据公开资料和对该公司的一名注册所有人的采访,到5月28日时,这家公司仍由吴的亲戚——他弟弟的妻子所有。

微博审查

在此文发表以前新浪微博就审查了对“习近平”的搜索。在彭博社发表此文章几小时后,新浪微博就开始审查“Bloomberg”,“邓家贵”,”吴龙“和“张燕南”。
在6月30日,新浪微博开始审查"millionaire"(百万富翁)


新浪微博开始审查"millionaire"(百万富翁)

搜索引擎审查
在文章发布几小时内,百度就开始审查“邓家贵”,”吴龙“和“张燕南”

在午夜之前,百度搜索以下词语的详情:

  • 对"齐桥桥"搜索,搜索结果限制在中国境内的网站 . 
  • 搜索“Bloomberg” 和 "彭丽媛" (习近平妻子)的搜索结果限制在严格白名单。
  • 原文标题和 "吴龙 新邮" (吴龙 新邮)不显示任何结果,只有一个“搜索结果可能不符合相关法律法规和政策,未予显示。”审查提示。

在7月2日,百度开始审查“彭博 商业周刊 吴龙”,“江西稀土稀有金属钨业集团”和“北京合康亿盛变频科技”

在6月29日的截图显示,“Bloomberg”的搜索结果限制在严格白名单。并且完全屏蔽了关于习近平家产文章标题的结果。

 

5.纽约时报揭露温家宝家族的家产

在10月26日下午5点左右,纽约时报发布了标题为“总理家人隐秘的财富”。摘录如下:

《纽约时报》的调查显示,温家宝担任领导职务期间,他的很多亲属变得极为富有。其中包括温家宝的儿子、女儿、弟弟及妻弟。对公司与监管记录的调查显示,在总理的亲属中,有些人的生意风格十分强势,他们掌控了价值不低于27亿美元(约合170亿元人民币)的资产。
. . . .
女富商段伟红的泰鸿公司就是总理母亲与其他亲属持有的平安股份的投资平台。段伟红说,这些投资实际上都是她自己的。段伟红是总理的同乡,也是总理夫人的好朋友。她表示,这些股份之所以放在总理亲属的名下,是为了隐藏她自己持股的规模
她表示,“我在投资平安的时候,不希望被媒体关注,”段女士表示,“所以我让亲戚找了一些人代我持有这些股份。”
她说,自己的公司选了这些亲属作为名义股东,只是一个“巧合”。股权登记过程需要股东提供自己的身份证号码与签名。直到《纽约时报》向她展示了这些投资者的姓名,她一直表示,她不知道这些人和温家宝有亲戚关系。

在此文章发表24小时之内,:

  • 新浪微博开始审查 "NYT" 和 "总理家人"
  • 搜狗开始审查 "纽约时报"
  • 百度让搜索此文章中文标题的结果 "消失了."  在10月26日,百度能找到超过100万结果,在27日,百度说不能找到任何结果。
Screenshots showing Sogou began censoring searches for "New York Times"
shortly after the publication of its article on Wen Jiabao's relatives' wealth.

Microblog Censorship

After the articles publication, Sina Weibo was censoring the names of several individuals and terms mentioned in the article:


  • "Wen Jiabao" in Chinese, and the initials "wjb."
  • Wen's Wife Zhang Beili (张蓓莉),
  • Wen's Brother  Wen Jiahong (温家宏)
  • Wen's Mother Yang Zhiyun (杨志云)
  • Wen's Son Wen Yunsong (温云松)
  • Duan Weihong (段伟红) 
  • "2.7 Billion" (27亿)
  • "New York Times" in Chinese and English
  • "Billion" 
  • "Chinese Leader"
Screenshots taken on October 27 show Sina Weibo censoring searches for
"New York Times," "Billions," and "Chinese Leader."

Search Censorship

Baidu restricted search results for "Wen Jiabao" and his son "Wen Yunsong" to its strict whitelist. It also banned Tieba forums on  their names, and claimed to be unable to find any results for their names in both its Zhidao Q&A and Wenku document sharing products.

Baidu also censored search results for the name of Wen's wife, Zhang Beili (张蓓莉) and his daughter, Wen Ruchun (温如春) by restricting search results to its broad white list.

A Baidu search for "Wen Jiahong" (温家宏) on October 27, 2012, returned no results, just a censorship notice.


Screenshot taken on December 31, 2012, shows a search on Baidu for
"Wen Jiabao site:nytimes.com" returns no results, just a censorship notice.

6. Ferrari Crash

Google's cache of the deleted Global Times story on the
Ferrari crash.

At around 8 pm on March 18, 2012, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article on its web site entitled "Three Pulled From Ferrari That Crashed Into a Bridge In the Middle of the Night, One Died at the Scene" (法拉利深夜撞桥车内3人被甩出 1人当场死亡). That report said that at around 4 am that morning, a Ferrari crashed on Beijing's fourth ring road, killing one and injuring two.

The Global Times deleted the article on March 20, and the URL (http://society.huanqiu.com/roll/2012-03/2533717.html) now points to an error page.

By the afternoon of March 19:

  • Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Ferrari." (法拉利)
  • Searches for "Ferrari Crashes" (法拉利 车祸) on:
    • Baidu and Soso were returning results restricted to the strict white list;
    • Sogou and Youdao returned no results, only censorship notices;

On May 31, Sina.com published an article entitled "The Secret Beijing March 18 Ferrari Crash: Ling Jihua's Son Killed Having High-Speed 'Car Sex'." (北京318法拉利神秘車禍:令計劃之子高速“車震”喪生) That article was originally available here - http://dailynews.sina.com/bg/chn/chnnews/ausdaily/20120531/00313434632.html - but was subsequently deleted. According to the article:

The most recent information exposed on Internet forums is that there were three people in the car, and the male driver was the son of Ling Jihua, and he died at the scene. Two women were severely injured, and after being sent to the hospital one of them died. The two women were students at Minzu University. The reason for the accident: the driver was engaged in high-speed "car sex" while driving.
网络论坛最新信息透露:车上3人,男性驾驶员是令计划之公子,他当场死亡。2女子重伤,送到医院抢救后一人死亡。而两名女子同为民族大学在校学生。事故原因:驾驶人高速驾车玩“车震”。 

Between March 19 and June 3, Baidu began completely censoring searches for "Ferrari crashes." (法拉利 车祸).


On June 3, Soso was returning over 2 million (apparently) uncensored search results for the same query. Two days later, however, Soso was once again restricting search results for that query to its strict white list. At the same time it also began censoring searches for "Master Ling" (令公子).

On September 2, 2012, the Global Times reported:

The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee has appointed Ling Jihua as head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee, replacing Du Qinglin. 
Ling will no longer hold the post as director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. Li Zhanshu has been appointed as the Office's director.

At that time, all major search engines in China were restricting search results for both "Ling Jihua" (令计划) and "Ling Gu" (令谷) to their strict white lists.
 

7. Beijing Floods


On July 23, 2012, the Global Times reported:

The heaviest rainstorms in 61 years hit the capital over the weekend, resulting in 37 deaths recorded as of 5 pm Sunday, authorities have announced. 
A total of 25 people drowned, six were killed by collapsing houses, five by electrocution, and one by lightning strike, the Beijing municipal government said on its Sina Weibo account. Over 1.9 million residents have been affected, officials say.

Within 48 hours, Sina Weibo began censoring all searches containing the term "death toll." (死亡人数)

Screenshots showing Sina Weibo began censoring searches for
"Beijing flood death toll" (北京暴雨死亡人数)

By July 27, Sina Weibo was also censoring searches for phrases such as "Beijing Deaths" and "Fangshan Deaths."

The same day, the Chinese government raised the official death toll to 77.

By midnight on July 27, Sina Weibo had stopped censoring searches relating to the flood's death toll.

As the one-week anniversary of the flooding approached, Sina Weibo began to implement censorship  related to memorials for the dead. On July 27, the "hot result" for a search on Sina Weibo for "Black Clothes White Flowers" (黑衣白花) was the following, posted at 4:30 pm that day:

Tomorrow afternoon two o'clock, black clothes white flowers, Guangqumen. (明天下午两点,黑衣白花,广渠门。)

At that time Sina Weibo was censoring search results "Guangqumen" (广渠门 - a district in Beijing).

Sina Weibo stopped censoring searches for "Guangqumen" shortly after 2 pm on July 28.

On July 28, Sina Weibo was still censoring searches for the characters "head seven" (头七), which refers to the Chinese tradition of mourning on the seventh day after someone's death.

On July 28 Sina Weibo was also censoring "Beijing Civil Affairs Office" (北京民政局) and "Donate your sister." (捐你妹) This censorship probably had something to do with users' generally negative reactions to the Office's posts saying things like "The Capital Airport Group made a 5,000,000 compassionate donation." (首都机场集团500万捐款献爱心).

Here are some comments that users left on the post - before the Office began blocking comments.

  • Its all forced. (都强制的)
  • I'm guessing it was stolen directly from employees' salaries. (估计又是直接打劫员工工资)
  • Let the employees donate. (让员工捐)
  • [Sigh] I lost my appetite when I read this. Donate your sister why don't you. ([打哈气]咧条消息看得我真没食欲。捐你妹妹还是可以的。)
  • Yet again forced to donate. (又被强捐啦)

On July 28, Sina Weibo was also censoring searches for "Southern Weekend" (南方周末), mostly likely because of posts by Weibo users claiming editors had removed several stories about the Beijing floods from the weekly newspaper's July 26 edition.

On August 4, the state-sponsored Economic Observer published an article entitled "The Flood's Missing." (暴雨失踪者) An excerpt:

Beijing's "July 21" downpour came out of nowhere, causing the scenic mountain village of Shidu in Fangshan to lose contact with the outside world and putting many tourists in life-threatening peril. After the flood waters receded, the Shidu city government announced "Under the correct leadership of the Fangshan district government, and through the united efforts and brave struggles of the entire village, not one single citizen or tourist died in the village, and disaster relief efforts have been victorious." The Shidu police station also said: "Faced with the Juman River overflowing its banks, a miracle was achieved in that there was not one single injury or fatality amongst the citizens and tourists in Shidu."  
In fact, the Fangshan government notices neglected to mention the situation with respect to missing people. In Shidu, it seems everyone knew about "the three people swept away in the flood at Pudu village." After a detailed investigation, this paper's reporters have come to understand that, at 8 pm on July 21, at the Pudu Water Park beside Bridge No. 11 in Shidu, Ma Hailong, Hou JIan, and Yang Han were swept away following failed rescue efforts, and that there has been no word from them for over ten days. On the afternoon of August 3, Yang Han's family told this paper via telephone that Yang Han's corpse had been found in Laishui county in Hebei, and that the family was on the way to Laishui.  
北京“7·21”暴雨来袭,作为旅游景区的北京市房山区十渡镇与外界失去了联络,众多游客被困,千万生命危在旦夕。洪水退后,十渡镇政府对外宣告“在房山 区委区政府的正确领导下,经过全镇上下协力奋战,镇域内百姓、景区内游客无一人伤亡,救灾工作取得首战胜利”。十渡镇派出所也称,“面对拒马河上游洪峰侵 袭,创下了十渡辖区无一名村民、游客伤亡的救援奇迹”。  
事实上,在房山区政府诸多通告中,并没有提到失踪人员的情况。在十渡镇,几乎无人不知“普渡山庄被洪水冲走3个人”。本报记者经过多方调查了解到,7月 21日20时许,在十渡镇十一渡桥旁边的普渡山庄水上乐园,马海龙、侯建、杨晗三人在救援失败后被洪水冲走,十几天来一直杳无音讯。8月3日下午,杨晗家 属在电话中告诉本报,杨晗的遗体已经在河北省涞水县找到,家属正在赶往涞水的路上。

That article contradicted an article published on July 26 by the state-sponsored Beijing Daily entitled "Not a Single Citizen or Tourist Injured or Killed in Shidu" (十渡区域百姓游客无一伤亡).

By August 6, the Economic Observer article had been deleted from both the HTML and ePaper versions of the Economic Observer's web site (original URLs: http://www.eeo.com.cn/2012/0804/231342.shtml and http://epaper.eeo.com.cn/shtml/jjgcb/20120806/v09.shtm).

Screenshots showing the Economic Observer article before and after
it was deleted.

8. Anti-Japan Protests in China

A young boy marching in front the Japanese Embassy
holds a sign saying "Declare War on Japan."

September 18, 2012, was the 81st anniversary of the Incident of 1931 (also referred to as the "Mukden Incident"), which preceded Japan's invasion of Northeast China. In the days surrounding the anniversary Chinese gathered in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing to protest.

On September 14, 2012, the Global Times publish an op-ed asking: "Besides 'Boycotting Japanese Goods,' What Else Can We Do?" (除了“抵制日货”,我们还能做什么).

On September 15, 2012, the Global Times entitled "Do Not Be Hasty When Judging 'Boycott Japanese Goods'" (莫轻率对“抵制日货”做评价).

At some time between August 30 and September 15, Sina Weibo stopped censoring searches for "Boycott Japanese Goods" (抵制日货).

Screenshots showing Sina Weibo stopped censoring "boycott Japanese goods"
at about the same time state media was praising boycotting Japanese goods.

On September 16, 2012, the China Daily's front page headline read: "Stay Away." According to the article:

On Saturday, demonstrations were held in more than 20 major cities across China as public anger grew against Tokyo's most recent provocations in its illegal claims on the Diaoyu Islands, which have always been a part of China historically.  
. . . .
In Beijing, citizens gathered in front of the Japanese embassy to protest against Tokyo's decision earlier this week to "purchase" the islands. In Nanjing, thousands protested downtown, holding banners that declared "Diaoyu Islands belong to China" and "Boycott Japanese goods".

On September 15, a search for "Japanese Embassy" (日本大使馆) on Sina Weibo returned over 1 million results. The same search done the following day returned no results, just a censorship notice.

Screenshots showing Sina Weibo began censoring "Japanese Embassy" at
about the same time state media began criticizing protesters' actions.

At around 6:30 pm on September 16, 2012, a Sina Weibo user posted the following:

The Diaoyu Islands are Japan's, I want to tell all Chinese people, from ancient times the Diaoyu Islands were the sovereign territory of Japan, don't go around biting people like some rabid dog, Sina Weibo can delete my post and close my account, but I'll still keep saying it, the Diaoyu Islands are Japan's and I support Japan.
钓鱼岛是日本的,我想告诉所有的中国人,钓鱼岛自古以来就是日本不变的领土,别像一个疯狗乱咬人,新浪有本事删除我的微博,除非封号,不然后我还是发的,钓鱼岛是日本的,我支持日本

Less than 20 minutes later the post was deleted and the user posted the following:

Today I've been in a fight-to-the-death with Sina Weibo, when I'm posting something is it possible that Sina Weibo does not know that Hong Kong has freedom of expression, deleting my posts, I'm telling Sina Weibo that unless you shut down my account I'll continue posting, I'm not afraid of you, If you have the guts come and find me I'm in Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui, Chinese people.
我今天就和新浪微博斗到底,我发微博怎么了难道新浪微博不知道香港是言论自由的吗,删除我的微博,我告诉新浪微博如果你不封号我还继续发,我怕你们不成,有本事找到我在说我在香港尖沙咀来吧,中国人

On September 17, 2012, the state-sponsored Caixin Magazine published a report entitled "Closer Look: How a Protest in Beijing Stuck to the Script." An excerpt:

A nearby street was filled with police, most of them relaxed. When I photographed the protest, he smiled and said: "You can join the protest."
"Can I? Won't I be pulled out?" I asked.
"Since it is me who let you in, who dares pull you out!" he said.
"But I haven't applied for permission," I said.
"It is OK. The organizer has applied," he said.
A middle-aged policeman also encouraged me to join the parade.
"Can I shout 'Punish corruptions'?" I inquired.
"No, you can't!" the middle-aged officer said, suddenly seriously.
"Only slogans concerned with Diaoyu Islands are allowed," a young policeman chimed in.
我们用手机拍照,一位年纪大约二十七八的警察笑眯眯地动员我:到队伍里面去拍吧,跟着他们走一圈。我问:我能进去吗?不会撵我出来?他继续动员:我让你进的还有谁会撵你?我说:我没有申请啊。不用,带头的人申请就行了。他说。
一中年警察也动员我们加入到游行队伍中去,我问:“我喊惩治腐败行吗?”他神情严肃地冲摆手:“不行。”一边的年轻警察插话:“只能喊与钓鱼岛有关的。”

Here are some of the slogans that the police allowed to be carried on signs:

Protesters outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing

  • "China is of one heart, bathe Tokyo in blood."
  • "Our hatred is irreconcilable / We beg the government to launch a war."
  • "Boycotting Japanese good begins with me. Anger without action is meaningless. There is no negotiating issues of sovereign territory, there is only war."
  • "Declare war on Japan."
  • "China is unanimous, Destroy little Japan."
  • "Cut off the heads of the Japanese devils with six cuts."
  • "Declare war on Japan, Blood debts paid must be paid in blood."
  • "Japanese assholes, get the fuck out of China."
  • "Bring down Japan even if it means the country's land is rendered barren."
  • "Take back the Diaoyu Islands, even if it means killing everyone in Japan."
  • "Slaughter all little Japanese, return my Diaoyu Islands."
  • "China should take action and kill the Japanese dogs."

On September 18, 2012, the Global Times published an article entitled "Protests Should Not Turn to the Dark Side." Some excerpts:

The past few days have seen a growing number of Chinese demonstrations protesting Japan's unilateral "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands, with a series of violent activities marring proceedings. Today marks the 81st anniversary of the September 18 Incident of 1931, which preceded Japan's invasion of Northeast China. It has been reported that a few Japanese factories in China have suspended their business temporarily due to safety considerations. Why have some Chinese demonstrators chosen violent means to show their "patriotism?" Will these violent protests really help resolve the Diaoyu Islands dispute? 

On September 18, Sina Weibo began censoring all searches containing either "anti-Japanese" (反日) or "demonstration" (示威).

Between September 17 and September 20, 2012, Sina Weibo also began censoring searches for "Oppose Japan" (抗日).

During the height of the protests (September 15-19) Sina Weibo was censoring searches for terms such as "Looting" (打砸抢), "Besiege" (围攻), and "Shenzhen" (深圳).

On September 18, Baidu's home page doodle showed an island with a PRC flag on it. Clicking on the doodle lead users to a page entitled "Diaoyu Islands, China's!" where users could plant virtual PRC flags on a Baidu map of the islands. Baidu's Japan and Taiwan home pages did not have any doodles. At least two other search engines - Jike and Youdao - put up similar home page links.

Baidu's doodle and the page it linked to.

On September 20, Baidu’s director of international communications offered this explanation:

The overwhelming majority of Baidu’s employees and users clearly feel very strongly on this topic, but our purpose was to encourage people to be rational in their expressions of patriotism, to renounce violence and other forms of extremism. Planting a digital flag to express your feelings on the matter of the Diaoyu Islands is a much better alternative to throwing rocks or smashing cars.

9. Anti "National Education" Protests in Hong Kong

A Sina Weibo post showing Hong Kong protests
(the post was subsequently deleted)

On July 26, the Global Times reported:

Hong Kong's education authority has come under criticism for organizing a tour of Mao Zedong's hometown of Shaoshan, Hunan Province, for the region's high school students with some commentators suggesting its part of a plan to indoctrinate local youth.
. . . .
The Hong Kong education authority was criticized for wasting public funds on "brainwashing national education activity," according to the Hong Kong-based Apple Daily.

On July 29, the People's Daily published an article entitled "Hong Kong Secretary of Education Responds to Suspicions Regarding National Education: If We Wanted to Brainwash It Would Be Very Difficult." (香港教育局长回应国民教育质疑:要洗脑很困难)

On July 29, Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Brainwash" (洗脑).

On August 2, 2012, the Global Times published an article entitled "No Reason for Hongkongers to Fear National Education Course" reporting that "Tens of thousands of Hongkongers took to the streets on Sunday to protest the introduction of a national education course that is set to begin in local primary schools this September."

On August 30, members of a student activist group called Scholarism (學民思潮) began an occupation of the Hong Kong government headquarters calling for the government to retract its plans to introduce National Education.

On September 5, 2012, the Global Times published an article entitled "HK National Education Controversy Highly Politicized." Some excerpts:

Opposition has been vocal since a national education course was officially introduced in Hong Kong schools Monday, the first day of the new school year. Some students also joined protests and launched a hunger strike to exert pressure on the government.
. . . .
Pan-democrats, by slamming this "brainwashing," are all out to rattle the leadership of Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's new chief executive who took office in July. It's selfish to encourage parents and teachers to give up adapting to their national identity for the sake of these pan-democrats' own political benefit.  

On September 7, Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "National Education." (国民教育)Around the same time Sina Weibo was censoring search results for "Government Headquarters" (政总), "National Education" (国民教育), and "Leung Chunying" (梁振英)

Screenshots showing Tencent Weibo began censoring "National Education"

At the same time, searches for "National Education" (国民教育) and "Scholarism" (学民思潮) on Baidu, Jike, Qihoo, Sogou, and Youdao returned no results, just censorship notices.

Screenshots taken on September 8 and 9 showing Baidu censoring
search results for "National Education" and "Scholarism"

10. 18th Party Congress


On October 24, Xinhua published a report entitled: "State Internet Information Office Convenes Deployment Meeting, Welcoming the Party's 18th Congress, Create a Surge in Online Propaganda" (国家互联网信息办召开会议部署 喜迎党的十八大 掀起网上宣传热潮). An excerpt:

Wang Chen, deputy director of the Central Propaganda Department and head of the Central Overseas Propaganda Office and the State Internet Information Office, spoke at the meeting, and called on Internet propaganda offices in every locale to spare no efforts in meticulous organization, do a good job of propagandizing online the Party's 18th Congress, create atmosphere for expression that will facilitate the victorious convening of the Party's 18th Congress, and create a mass upsurge of online propaganda.
. . . .
The meeting stressed that news websites and commercial websites must further strengthen their sense of responsibility, and utilize the critical ideological guidance provided by Deng Xiaoping Theory and the "Three Represents" to implement scientific development deeply, grasp correct guidance firmly, and insist upon unified and stable enthusiasm, . . . .
中宣部副部长、中央外宣办、国家互联网信息办主任王晨在会上讲话,要求各地网宣网管部门全力以赴、精心组织,做好党的十八大网上宣传工作,为党的十八大胜利召开营造良好舆论氛围,掀起网上宣传热潮。
. . . .
会议强调,新闻网站和商业网站要进一步增强责任感使命感,以邓小平理论和“三个代表”重要思想为指导,深入贯彻落实科学发展观,牢牢把握正确导向,坚持团结稳定鼓劲,. . . .

According to the Xinhua report, the meeting was attended by representatives from agencies responsible for online content, the People's Daily, Xinhua, and other "Central news websites." (中央新闻网站).

On November 7, Xinhua announced that the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China would convene on November 8. The Congress concluded on November 15 with the announcement of a new Politburo Standing Committee (PBSC) comprising seven members (down from the previous nine): Xi Jinping (习近平), Li Keqiang (李克强), Zhang Dejiang (张德江), Yu Zhengsheng (俞正声), Liu Yunshan (刘云山), Wang Qishan (王岐山), and Zhang Gaoli (张高丽).

Microblog Censorship

In the days leading up to the opening of the 18th Party Congress Sina Weibo stopped completely censoring terms like "18th Big Meeting" (十八大) and the names of current PBSC members like "Xi Jinping" (习近平).  Instead, restricted results verified state-controlled media sources.

At the same time, Sina began censoring terms that sounded similar to "18th Big Meeting" but that would be likely to point to unofficial posts, such as "18大," "撕八大," and "斯巴达."

Then, for several days Sina stopped providing a censorship notice for those terms it continued to censor, and instead claimed that it was unable to locate any results. Sina resumed displaying its censorship notice on November 9.

At almost exactly the same time Xinhua published the announcement of the new PBSC, Sina Weibo stopped censoring "Politburo Standing Committee" (中央政治局常委) .

Screenshot showing Sina Weibo stopped censoring
"Politburo Standing Committee" at the same time its members
were announced by Xinhua

For several weeks after the conclusion of the Congress, Sina Weibo administrators continued to gradually increase the amount of censorship following the initial relaxation. By November 27, searches for "Xi Jinping" were completely censored, while searches for "Li Keqiang" were returning no results from the previous 48 hours.

By December 14, 2012, Sina Weibo was imposing a seven day delay for searches for the names of all members of the PBSC, with the exception of Wen Jiabao, which it continued to completely censor.

Screenshots showing Sina Weibo implementing a seven day delay on search results for "Xi Jinping"

The new rule was not only being applied to leaders and their families. For example, a search for "Xu Zhiyong" (a civil rights lawyer) on November 27 returned results from as recently as November 25, the same search on December 18 did not return any results from the preceding seven days. The delayed results were not, however, restricted to verified government accounts.

As of December 26, Sina Weibo had stopped imposing a seven day delay for searches for the names of PBSC members, except for Wen Jiabao, which it continued to completely censor.

Screenshots showing Sina Weibo returning real time results for
"Hu Jintao" and "Xi Jinping"

Search Censorship

At some time between July and September, Baidu stopped censoring searches for many terms relating to the Congress, such as "18 Big" (十八大). It waited until October-November, however, to stop censoring searches for "nine becomes seven" (九变七).


Screenshots showing that Baidu stopped censoring "9 becomes 7" shortly
before the government announced the new PBSC would have seven members.

During the first week of November, Baidu increased its censorship of the names of several of the men widely speculated to become (and who all eventually became) members of the PBSC:  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).

Screenshots showing Baidu began censoring searches for "Zhang Dejiang"

Baidu did not impose this censorship for Wang Yang (汪洋), who was also speculated as possibly joining the PBSC, but who in the end was not chosen.

During the second week of November, Baidu relaxed its censorship of these names, and was returning search results from its broad white list.

Screenshots showing Baidu restricting search results for "Li Yuanchao" to  its
strict white list, then to its broad white list.

One month after the conclusion of the 18th Party Congress, it appeared that Baidu had settled on the following censorship policies for the names of senior government leaders:

  • Search results for queries containing only a member's name in Chinese are restricted to the strict white list.
  • Searches for members' names on Baidu's Tieba, Zhidao, and Wenku products return no results.
  • Search results for queries containing a member's name in Chinese plus a sensitive term are either restricted to the strict white list or censored completely.
  • New Search results for queries containing a member's name in Chinese plus a non-sensitive term are restricted to the broad white list.
Screenshots showing a Baidu search for "Egypt Hu Jintao" in 2011 only
returned results from the strict white list. The same search in December 2012
returned results from the broad white list.

From http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/01/2012-in-review-10-examples-of-free.html

http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/01/2012-in-review-10-examples-of-free_2...

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星期一, 8月 03, 2020

Announcing the Release of GreatFire Appmaker

GreatFire (https://en.greatfire.org/), a China-focused censorship monitoring organization, is proud to announce that we have developed and released a new anti-censorship tool that will enable any blocked media outlet, blogger, human rights group, or civil society organization to evade censors and get their content onto the phones of millions of readers and supporters in China and other countries that censor the Internet.

GreatFire has built an Android mobile app creator, called “GreatFire AppMaker”, that can be used by organizations to unblock their content for users in China and other countries. Organizations can visit a website (https://appmaker.greatfire.org/) which will compile an app that is branded with the organization’s own logo and will feature their own, formerly blocked content. The app will also contain a special, censorship-circumventing web browser so that users can access the uncensored World Wide Web. The apps will use multiple strategies, including machine learning, to evade advanced censorship tactics employed by the Chinese authorities.  This project will work equally well in other countries that have China-like censorship restrictions. For both organizations and end users, the apps will be free, fast, and extremely easy to use.

This project was inspired by China-based GreatFire’s first-hand experience with our own FreeBrowser app (https://freebrowser.org/en) and desire to help small NGOs who may not have the in-house expertise to circumvent Chinese censorship. GreatFire’s anti-censorship tools have worked in China when others do not. FreeBrowser directs Chinese internet users to normally censored stories from the app’s start page (http://manyvoices.news/).

星期五, 7月 24, 2020

Apple, anticompetition, and censorship

On July 20, 2020, GreatFire wrote to all 13 members of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, requesting a thorough examination into Apple’s practice of censorship of its App Store, and an investigation into how the company collaborates with the Chinese authorities to maintain its unique position as one of the few foreign tech companies operating profitably in the Chinese digital market.  

This letter was sent a week before Apple CEO TIm Cook will be called for questioning in front of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The CEOs of Amazon, Google and Facebook will also be questioned on July 27, as part of the Committee’s ongoing investigation into competition in the digital marketplace.

This hearing offers an opportunity to detail to the Subcommittee how Apple uses its closed operating ecosystem to not only abuse its market position but also to deprive certain users, most notably those in China, of their right to download and use apps related to privacy, secure communication, and censorship circumvention.

We hope that U.S. House representatives agree with our view that Apple should not be allowed to do elsewhere what would be considered as unacceptable in the U.S. Chinese citizens are not second class citizens. Private companies such as Apple compromise themselves and their self-proclaimed values of freedom and privacy when they collaborate with the Chinese government and its censors.

星期一, 6月 10, 2019

苹果审查中国西藏的信息

苹果在涉及西藏的审查方面有着悠久历史。 2009年,据计算机世界网透露 ,与达赖喇嘛有关的几个应用程序在苹果的中国区应用商店中不存在。这些应用的开发者未收到他们的应用被删除的通知。当面对这些审查制度时,苹果发言人只是说该公司将“继续遵守当地法律”。

2017年12月,在中国的一次会议上,当被问及与中国当局合作审查苹果应用商店时,蒂姆·库克 宣称

“所以你的选择是参与进去,还是站在局外,吼叫着事情应当怎样?我自己的看法非常强烈,你得进入赛场,因为没有任何东西会从局外发生改变。"

自苹果公司首次因与中国当局合作以遏制已被边缘化的声音而被批评的十年间,情况发生了什么变化?苹果继续严格遵守中国当局的审查令。蒂姆库克什么时候会期望他的公司能帮助在中国带来积极的变化?

根据生成的数据 https://applecensorship.com,Apple现在已经审查了在中国应用商店中29个西藏的热门应用程序。关于新闻,宗教研究,旅游甚至游戏的西藏主题应用程序正在被苹果审查。最下方附有完整的审查应用列表。

“苹果的领导力隐藏在他们审查应用程序以遵守模糊的'中国当地法律'的借口,但他们的行为缺乏任何透明度。通过从中国苹果应用商店删除藏文和其他许多应用程序,苹果阻碍了藏人获取信息和自由表达自己的能力,这是国际法下的一项基本人权。“ TibCERT(西藏计算机应急准备小组)的响应协调员Dorjee Phuntsok说道。 他们与GreatFire合作对被屏蔽的应用程序进行了分析。

   2019年1月,GreatFire推出了applecensorship.com。在那时,GreatFire联合创始人马丁约翰逊指出:“苹果公司在其透明度报告中没有分享有关应用商店审查的信息 - 该项目强制透明度。蒂姆库克可以随心所欲地说苹果在中国做了或没有做什么,但 applecensorship.com 提供了可以实际看到苹果实施审查原始数据的途径。

分析苹果在中国审查的iOS应用程序

有许多应用程序由藏人或为藏人制作,苹果正在审查中国区应用商店中的许多应用程序。了解某些应用程序被阻止的方式和原因以及这些决策背后的基本原理非常重要。为了解这一点,TibCERT(西藏应急准备小组)对在中国应用商店中被审查的藏文应用程序进行了分析。该研究使用关键字搜索藏文应用程序,然后使用GreatFire提供的应用程序审查平台。

TibCERT分析了119个以藏语为主题的iOS应用程序。使用“西藏”,“藏人”,“达赖喇嘛”,“佛教”,“藏传佛教”,等关键词搜索苹果应用商店时,可以找到下面列出的应用程序。这些应用程序分为五大类:“宗教或文化”,“媒体/政治”,“娱乐”,“工具”和“教育”。

星期四, 6月 06, 2019

重点关注苹果在中国审查实践的报告

最新的 数字版权企业责任指数排名 就公司和政府需要做些什么来提出建议,以改善全球互联网用户的人权保护。数字版权排名(RDR)旨在通过为公司尊重和保护用户权利制定全球标准和激励措施,以促进互联网上的言论自由和隐私权。

在他们的2019年责任指数中,RDR着眼于24家世界上最重要的互联网公司在言论自由和隐私方面的政策,并强调了那些尚需努力和已经取得改进的公司。 RDR指出:

透明度不足使私人政党,政府和公司本身更容易通过网络言论滥用权力,并规避责任。

特别是,该报告强调了苹果如何滥用其网络言论的权力,并在中国指出这一点。根据该报告,苹果公司在面对政府当局提出的要求时,并未披露其从App Store中删除内容的数据。

虽然[苹果]披露了有关政府限制帐户请求的数据,但它没有披露有关内容删除请求的数据,例如从苹果应用商店删除应用程序的请求。苹果公司对其影响言论自由的政策和做法讳莫如深,这让它的排名低于此类别的所有其他美国公司。

该报告为政府提出了明智而感性的建议。然而,这些建议还强调了与中国政府进行这些讨论是多么的困难。

RDR 建议政府要求公司的透明度并保持透明度。中国当局采取相反的做法 - 他们不希望在这些问题上保持透明度,因为它突显了他们不希望公众了解的信息。当局不希望公司透明,他们可能直接指示Apple不发布他们正删除的内容列表。

苹果可能真的认为他们必须遵守中国的法律条文。或者他们也可能愿意分享有关App Store中被审查内容的信息,但有碍于被中国当局束手束脚。苹果还可能会利用这种情况作为他们打击中国言论自由的掩护。无论Apple的真实动机如何,透明度都能够并已经被强加给他们。

在2019年1月,GreatFire发布了 applecensorship.com。该项目监控Apple在公司运营的每个市场中对App Store的审查。应用程序的可用性测试由网站访问者进行。截至今天,用户生成的测试已经确定了 超过1100个 在中国应用商店中不可用的应用。在中国受审查的应用程序包括那些涉及宗教,新闻,隐私和翻墙的应用程序。通过审查有助于规避审查限制的应用程序,苹果确实的让中国人无法自由访问信息。苹果的中国用户或许认为他们买到的是一流的设备 - 但可以肯定的是,该公司将他们视为二等信息公民。

RDR建议苹果对言论自由的限制保持透明,并公布有关公司因政府要求而删除内容所采取行动的数据。我们邀苹果审核我们在 applecensorship.com 上公开发布的数据,并根据中国当局的指示突出显示已删除应用的情况。

星期四, 11月 30, 2017

关于在中国苹果商店被审查的那674个软件

苹果对中国区的审查行为敞开了大门 - 但这似乎只是冰山一角。
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