On August 3 at 2:50 pm, the influential political blogger and journalist Michael Anti tweeted that Wall Street Journal's Chinese website, cn.wsj.com, had been blocked within China. That afternoon, after testing on multiple browsers, we emailed WSJ for a comment, then posted a story announcing WSJ Chinese had been harmonized, i.e. could only be accessible in China with a VPN.
Two hours ago, Kathy from Dow Jones's Hong Kong office emailed back:
Today, barbarians of the unruly and unruled Internet are less dangerous. Today, your sleep will be sounder, your dreams more colorful, your future freer. For today, Britain, you are one step closer to achieving China's harmony-promoting, children-protecting Net filtration system, which we lovingly refer to as the Great Firewall. And how great it is: no porn, because it can be eradicated like rats; no discussion of historical events, so as not to offend the sensibilities of certain mothers who would prefer to forget those things ever happened; no YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, New York Times, or Bloomberg, because screw 'em; and no dissent (and why would there be dissent?). Hadrian's Firewall, we'll call it. You'll love it, as we do.
Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which has sources within Zhongnanhai, has apparently flown too close to the sun. It got scorched on Wednesday, with Sina, Tencent, NetEase, and Sohu all deleting the paper's microblog accounts. Reasons remain basically unknown.
Astrill wants its users to know it was the target of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack yesterday, and that they "are experiencing technical issues with our API servers," and are investigating, and "apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."
Unfortunately, if you are in China and only use Astrill, it's unlikely you've gotten this message (unless you happened to see it on Reddit). Astrill's been tweeting, beginning with this 13 hours ago:
The above was posted to Sina Weibo recently and was, of course, deleted. If it doesn't seem like a picture that compares China's president to a chubby bear with a sweet tooth would be allowed to stand, it's because a picture that compares China's president to a chubby bear with a sweet tooth isn't allowed to stand, even if it's done in good fun (as the above obviously is). But as we've said before: censors don't like fun. (They prefer their jobs.)
Those wonderful viral marketers at Durex -- who were responsible for this ad that implied Barack Obama has a bigger penis than Mitt Romney -- sprinkled some photoshop magic to one particular photo of Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan that's been making the rounds.
In the original -- somewhat lampooned because China's First Lady is using an iPhone -- Xi Jinping definitely does not have a condom in his breast pocket.
Global Times chose June 4 to publish two editorials about how the Internet and media need to be brutally censored. One editorial is by Shan Renping -- the party’s stupidest editorial lapdog -- and the other is from the rat-infested oozing pile of vomit and bile shat through the vagina of a dead yet zombified tapeworm screaming at the top of its intestines, Hu Xijin.
Let’s start with Hu: “Web regulation in public's best interest”
Murong Xuecun has seen all his microblogs deleted (May 11), reinstated (May 17), and deleted again (May 18). Anyone who gets jerked around like this has reason to be upset; Murong, more so, considering he had millions of followers and thousands of entries accumulated over three years, and because, as he himself puts it, "to a writer, the words he writes are more important to him than his life."
Hao Qun, 39, better known by his pen name Murong Xuecun, saw all of his weibos -- Sina, Tencent, NetEase, and Sohu -- deleted on Saturday. Successive attempts to re-register were quickly thwarted as well.
He lost 1.85 million followers, but it's China and its ignoble band of fucking censors who have lost more: repute. Face. Or does that suddenly not matter?
Hong Kong University’s China Media Project already has an awesome service in WeiboScope, which preserves deleted Sina Weibo messages deemed too "sensitive." Apparently determined to bring those messages to a wider audience, CMP is now translating some of them into English with its newest service, WeiboSuite.
What does a false start and a censor's curse get you?
An opening that is kind of terrible.
Django Unchained, after its premiere was unceremoniously pulled and indefinitely delayed last month, returned to mainland theaters on Sunday, five days after it was supposed to. It earned 3.7 million yuan. Not US dollars... yuan.
We talk about censors as if they weren't real, but SCMP serves us this useful reminder that the people deleting your videos, expurgating articles, handcuffing artists, destroying the TV and entertainment industry, and -- the of course of "of courses" -- blocking porn, are made of flesh and blood, with intellectual capacities, however stunted, and human desires.
Well, some used to have human desires, before they were forced to watch porn all day. Desensitized, sex is but gymnastics with bad theatrics, something to pass the time, like a run on the treadmill.
Do you share our disdain for censorship? If so, it's not too late to check out last week's PEN International report on Chinese censorship, "Creativity and Constraint in Today's China." Launched on World Press Freedom Day as a culmination of five years of work, "the report is a frank assessment of the climate of freedom of expression in the world’s most populous state," featuring firsthand accounts and essays from 10 Chinese dissident writers.
A massive police and paramilitary presence has descended upon Fengtai District around Jingwen Clothing and Apparel Shopping Mall, the scene of either a suicide or murder last Friday.
On May 3, a young woman from Anhui province fell to her death from the Jingwen building after allegedly being gang-raped. Police hastily ruled her death a suicide and refused her family's request to see the surveillance footage.
This afternoon, thousands (edit: possibly only "hundreds") of people -- many who are migrant workers from Anhui -- gathered in a planned protest between Jingwen and Yongdingmen, a gate just south of the Temple of Heaven on Second Ring Road (a few kilometers north of Jingwen). Hundreds of police have shown up in turn, many in riot gear. Traffic is reportedly backed up for miles.
Django Unchained is ready for mainland Chinese theaters again. According to Sina, Quentin Tarantion’s revenge epic will be screened beginning May 7, with “full-frontal nudity removed.” There was hardly any full-frontal nudity in the movie to begin with, but if that’s what it takes, so be it. By now everyone who wants to see it... Read more »
The tireless, talented and slightly subversive Feng Xiaogang accepted the China Film Directors Guild's director of the year award on April 12, and he had some pointed things to say in his acceptance speech.
Pointed things that you will not hear, because they were censored.
Pointed as in the word "censorship."
The “falling for satire” bit is our little extrapolation, but what other funny way to explain this? Via SCMP: “All kinds of media work units may not use any unauthorised news products provided by foreign media or foreign websites,” according to a notice issued by the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television. This came... Read more »
David Barboza’s expose on the extent of Wen Jiabao’s family’s “hidden riches” has won him a Putlizer. He beat out the Associated Press for its coverage in Syria and Richard Marosi of the Los Angeles Times for his work on deportation of Mexican immigrants.
Good news and bad news for those itching to watch Django Unchained. Seeing Red in China reports via China News that it might be returning to mainland China theaters, though likely not in its current form.
There have been reports today that Django could be resumed late this month in Chinese theaters, provided that director Tarantino will cut what the Chinese censors ask him to cut.
The New York Times elaborates: