Translator:攀登者 (Climber)
Edited: Lish

The Chinese authorities strictly control the Internet, and a large number of censors are responsible for deleting posts that may have a negative impact on Chinese Communist Party policies. After the lockdown of Shanghai, China’s financial center, to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19, China’s censorship machine began to overload to defend Beijing’s strict “zero policy”.

Shanghai residents are trapped in their homes due to lockdown, and many people vent their anger on social media about food shortages and poor isolation conditions.

Not long ago, many netizens expressed their anger at the lockdown with the first sentence of the Chinese national anthem lyrics, “Arise! ye who refuse to be slaves”, then the hot topic was blocked on Weibo.

Some netizens also sneered at China’s epidemic measures by using the label “the United States is the largest human rights deficit country”.

George Orwell’s novel 1984 also once topped the hot search on Douban, but Douban immediately closed the rating and review area of the relevant works.

Chinese network censors also blocked the hot search keyword “sneak for fun”. At the end of last year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told foreign journalists at a press conference, “You can have fun living in China during the epidemic”, and stressed that China is blameless for the COVID-19 epidemic. This speech has become an Internet buzzword, and netizens create all kinds of satirical pictures with “sneak for fun”.

Last month, Internet censors encountered difficulties in trying to block a six-minute short film, “Voice of April”, describing the current lockdown in Shanghai. Network users quickly re-edited and shared the short video to avoid automatic filtering software, which took several hours to identify different versions.

The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party held a meeting on the prevention and control of COVID-19 on May 5. In his speech, chairman Xi Jinping stressed that China will unswervingly “adhere to the general policy of dynamic zero clearance” and “resolutely fight against all words and deeds that distort, doubt and deny China’s national defense epidemic policy”.

A professor of journalism in Beijing who did not want to be named said that the Chinese official media expanded the positive factors and “ignored the plight of individuals”, which created “two Shanghais”. The official description was in sharp contrast to what people saw on the Internet.


Published by: Wenwu                   

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