“When people from a foreign land come to Wuhan now, they will feel that nothing happened here,” Ai Xiaoming said while sitting in a book study.
The 67-year-old writer and documentary filmmaker said: “It feels like they don’t know anything about the feelings of the dead or family members.” [Chinese] The media rarely report on these issues. These people have no room for storytelling. “
During the 76-day Covid-1
Ai Weiwei and Fang Fang, 65, are often stern calls for their freedom of speech, and local officials are held responsible for keeping residents in the dark for the month before Wuhan’s sudden lockdown on January 23, 2020.
However, most of their diary entries are just to share personal testimonials and raise awareness of the plight of neighbors, volunteers and medical staff.
Another author, Guo Jing, 29, was censored for sharing content with the aim of raising awareness about domestic violence, isolation and the heavy burden of family responsibilities borne by women during the Hubei provincial capital.
Ai Weiwei had compiled the villagers and corrupt practices of HIV-infected people that caused the school to collapse in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Her WeChat account (on the ubiquitous social media platform owned by the tech giant Tencent) was permanently closed during the lockdown.
Wang Fang wrote under the pen names of the three and is the most famous of the three.her Wuhan Diary The book was published in English in June last year, but after die-hard nationalists hunted her to release the account abroad, it also caused her troubles at home.
Initially, her diary posts were read and reposted by millions of people in China, but they began to be censored. “Political correctness is given top priority. When we are in a crisis, even crying and mourning are considered [to be] She brought shame to the country and passed the sword to the outside world. ” Observer.
In her locked diary, the Wuhan resident fought unremittingly with censors and commentators when posting fragments of the diary on the social media platforms WeChat and Weibo owned by Sina. While she was constantly being censored, other voices that attacked her were left alone.
She said that although Fangfang’s WeChat and Weibo accounts were not suspended, they were still occasionally blocked.
She believes that selectively blocking certain types of speech while allowing other “crazy” speech to flourish is an obstacle to China’s further reform and opening up. She said: “The consequences of doing this are naturally dangerous.”
Fang Fang said that Chinese publishing houses have stopped publishing works she signed, including her latest novels, although previously published books can still be found in bookstores.
She said: “For professional writers, being unable to publish and distribute their own works is a very cruel punishment.”
Of course, compared with the four-year prison sentence of 37-year-old lawyer Zhang Zhan, which was sentenced to citizen journalist by a Shanghai court on December 28, this punishment is pale and weak. Zhang was convicted of being “provocative and provocative” because of the locked Wuhan report and posting videos and information clips to YouTube, Twitter and other social media platforms.
In China, the government requires journalists to carry state-issued news cards and prohibits most independent journalism. This is another layer of the censorship system and is not often challenged.
Ai Weiwei said: “Zhang Zhan’s actions show that all these rules are absurd.” “She doesn’t care about these. In this sense, the personality she represents does not belong to this century or the last century, but to the future. She is so. Brave.”
For the feminist writer Guo Jing, it is also difficult to report during and after the outbreak. The cumulative impact of the censorship and punishment for making speech has changed what people think they can discuss online and offline.
Guo said: “I think the horrible thing about censorship is that it brings self-censorship. Everyone is censoring each other.” They said, “It’s like,’Hey, someone has frozen theirs for publishing this content. Account, maybe you shouldn’t post this kind of content’.”
Another major aspect is the constantly changing definitions of sensitivity and unclear rules about what can be said. She said: “We never know what the standard is.”
Regarding the culprit of Chinese social media platforms in the censorship system, the author agrees that they did play an important role, but in the end it was due to the authorities’ order to withdraw the manuscript or to require supervision of certain topics.
Guo said: “Social media platforms need traffic, so deleting popular topics will not benefit them.”
Asked Observer When commenting on why the author’s post was censored or continued to be censored, Tencent responded: “Tencent’s mission is to create an open connection and communication platform for users. Tencent follows local laws related to Internet content, and we abide by where we operate. All laws and regulations in different countries and markets.
Sina did not respond to similar requests for comment.