Freedom of expression is merely an illusion for some citizens of the world. Governments still do a great job in manipulating public opinion and molding the truth in their best interest. China is facing high levels of censorship, as users are exposed to having their conversations checked up and deleted by entire teams of people who are hired to verify and select exactly the information they allow to be delivered.
More than a half of public posts released by owners of 36.000 “official” accounts on a Chinese social network called Tencent and 55% of social messaging posts from WeChat have been deleted starting with June 2014, since the censorship trials and tribulations started, ending in March 2015.
The Chinese officials have deleted posts which contained tabloid gossip, outright falsehoods and sensationalism. The information exchange was harmless to say the least, but governments still need to take control over what the large public is interested in and select what is or isn’t allowed to be delivered or discussed.
The recent observations in regards to censorship regulations could be a reflection of the ongoing “anti-rumor campaign”, taking over the Asian social media.
The news regarding censorship initiatives come as no surprise, however, as WeChat is known to delete from the Web posts which contain references to politically sensitive topics, such as the Falun Gong spiritual government. Everything political that could be under the scrutiny of public opinion must be censored, according to the Asian political laws.
New reports state that 1, 48% of the accounts tracked by Citizen Lab have been suspended. Citizen Lab is a platform run by brands, companies, outlets and celebrities who are altogether allowed to release public posts. Furthermore, 5% of accounts have had at least one post censored and 2, 44% of posts were self-censored: publicly published and then deleted by users. Citizen Lab has developed an algorithm that filters a list of sensitive terms which cannot be published under any circumstance.
Not only political or social information is being censored, but also pieces of news, opinion and information which is related to trivia news and analysis. Everything sensational, which has a rumor dimension to it is most likely to be censored by the Big Brother.
The censorship initiatives took shape ever since Xi Jinping became president of China in 2013 and has concluded that internet is a sphere which the Communist Party needs to control, as it offers too much freedom of expression, too much diversified information and endless dissemination. Masses need to be controlled and this is where censorship begins to take shape. China’s Social Media posts are under the magnifying glass of censorship, along with other chat platforms that are thoroughly verified, analyzed and selected to reveal only the information that is considered “safe” by officials.
The taboo subjects related to calls for protests or collective actions are strongly verified and immediately deleted, in order to keep a quiet curtain of submission above the entire Chinese population.
Image Source: techinasia.com