News About the China Protests Has Been Apparently Blocked by... Porn?

IMAGE BILL HINTON PHOTOGRAPHY / GETTY IMAGES

In China, protesters rallying against the administration's "Zero COVID Policy" have only increased over the course of the past few days. The widespread public protests have decrying lockdown restrictions and COVID tests, after emergency personnel were stopped from addressing a fire in Xinjiang last week. Calls for Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials' resignations have gotten louder over the past few days, as well.

The Communist Party hasn't exactly been tolerant of dissent, as we all know. Recently, Twitter users have pointed out that searches for any news about the China protests have only led to Chinese-language accounts posting about... pornography. It's allegedly an attempt by the state to silence opposition. The Washington Post calls it the "Great Wall of Porn."

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Beginning over the weekend, these accounts, which were otherwise dead the past months, had reportedly come back to life. This resulted in thousands of tweets about escort services, gambling, and the like flooding feeds. Any news related to the protests or the cities where demonstrations were held were nowhere to be found, albeit a few that slipped through the cracks. Chinese citizens have moved to alternative platforms like Telegram to share any information and developments about the outrage.

Air-Moving Device, a China-focused data analyst on the app, had pointed out that more than 70 percent of the spam accounts only started tweeting the past couple of days.

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In an interview with the Post, an ex-Twitter employee said that the alleged Government-sponsored campaign was “another exhibit where there are now even larger holes to fill" on the platform.

On November 25, videos circulated online of Chinese protesters marching to government buildings. CNN reported that citizens have been chanting “no to COVID tests, yes to freedom” and “Give me liberty or give me death!” The network had also confirmed that at least 16 areas in China have had protests.

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