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Chinese censorship:

    Republican Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said that efforts to censor certain conservative networks “sounds like actions from the Chinese Communist Party” during a House hearing on “disinformation and extremism in the media” Wednesday. The House Committee on Energy & Commerce held a hearing titled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media,” which saw lawmakers and witnesses debate whether conservative networks like Newsmax, One America News Network and Fox News should be taken off the air due to coverage that some Democrats claim led to violence. Rodgers began by ripping House Democrats’ efforts to pressure big tech into censoring conservative media during her opening statement. (RELATED: House Democrats Pressure TV Broadcasters To Deplatform Conservative Networks) “Elected officials using their platform to pressure private companies to censor media outlets they disagree with? That sounds like actions from the Chinese Communist Party, not duly elected representatives of the United States Congress,” Rodgers...
    Reuters February 24, 2021 0 Comments A bipartisan group of U.S. senators will revive legislation as soon as Wednesday to counter Chinese censorship in the United States, a new effort by Congress to hold Beijing accountable for its growing efforts to stifle criticism beyond its borders, Senator Jeff Merkley told Reuters. U.S. officials have complained that the Chinese government has increasingly sought to suppress opposition to its ruling Communist Party by coercing U.S. companies – from hotel chains and airlines to Hollywood film producers – to take pro-Beijing stances. “We must monitor and address the impacts of China’s censorship and intimidation of Americans and our companies, so we can create a strategy to safeguard this bedrock freedom and hold those accountable who suppress and destroy it,” Merkley, a Democrat leading the effort who will soon be chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in emailed comments. The bill...
    By Michael Martina WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators will revive legislation as soon as Wednesday to counter Chinese censorship in the United States, a new effort by Congress to hold Beijing accountable for its growing efforts to stifle criticism beyond its borders, Senator Jeff Merkley told Reuters. U.S. officials have complained that the Chinese government has increasingly sought to suppress opposition to its ruling Communist Party by coercing U.S. companies – from hotel chains and airlines to Hollywood film producers – to take pro-Beijing stances. "We must monitor and address the impacts of China's censorship and intimidation of Americans and our companies, so we can create a strategy to safeguard this bedrock freedom and hold those accountable who suppress and destroy it," Merkley, a Democrat leading the effort who will soon be chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, said in emailed comments. The bill is...
    China's recent announcement that BBC World News is banned from broadcasting in the country is another troubling example of Beijing closing itself off and makes clear the extent of the Communist Party's censorship regime, author Gordon Chang says. The authoritarian government's National Radio and Television Administration announced its restriction of the British broadcaster on Feb. 11, claiming the BBC had harmed Chinese "unity" with its reporting on the country's atrocities against ethnic minorities. "China under Xi Jinping has been shutting out the rest of the world. It’s basically a closing of the Chinese mind because Xi does not like foreign influences," Chang told Fox News. "As China cuts itself off from the rest of the world, it’s not going to get the benefit of communicating with other people. Everyone benefits from talking with others, and societies that cut themselves off end up usually strangling themselves." China was formally accused by the U.S. last month of perpetrating a genocide against Uighurs and...
    For many years, there has long been a debate about whether Chinese-owned tech companies are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and whether they have undue influence over consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Now a whistleblower has spoken out alleging the parent company of TikTok is beholden to the CCP. The allegations stem from an employee of ByteDance, who has alleged that he was told to often delete content related to the COVID-19 outbreak in its earliest days, as well as other content that was deemed controversial by the Chinese state. POMPEO WARNS OF POTENTIAL RESTRICTION OF CHINESE TIKTOK APP; US USERS MAY BE CEDING INFO TO 'CHINESE COMMUNISTS' He claims that the Chinese government has been using TikTok to suppress minorities, censor freedom of speech and mask human rights violations, demanding the company create algorithms that identify minority Uighur-language posts that would then automatically be censored or deleted – as well...
    Chinese state-run media condemned Twitter and Facebook’s censorship of President Donald Trump last week, suggesting that the U.S., which is generally thought to represent democracy, isn’t democratic, according to a New York Times report. “The banning of the US president’s social media account for ‘risks of further incitement of violence’ shows that freedom of speech does indeed have boundaries in every society,” Chinese state-run Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin wrote. While state media used the purge to say that free speech doesn’t exist in the U.S., Chinese social media websites, usually quick to ban posts that criticize the Chinese Communist Party, allowed users to openly criticize American censorship, The New York Times reported. Chinese state-run media, known for its censorship of dissenting viewpoints, pointed to Big Tech’s banning of President Donald Trump as evidence that there is no country with truly free speech. Chinese state-run media condemned Twitter...
    In a recent article, the Washington Post has outlined how Chinese censors have tracked down Chinese nationals critical of the Communist government in the U.S. via the messaging service WeChat. The Chinese communist censors then employ a variety of schemes to shut down the users’ communication, some of which mirror the censorship of conservatives by the Silicon Valley Masters of the Universe. In an article titled “Chinese censorship invades the U.S. via WeChat,” the Washington Post outlines how North American users of the popular Chinese messaging service WeChat have found themselves blocked from sharing content that angers Chinese authorities. Chinese users living in the United States are reporting that many of their posts are being hidden from others on the app due to their criticism of the Chinese government. One user, Zhou Fengsuo, showed the Washington Post that when viewing his own profile on WeChat he can see many posts from his own...
    Chinese Communist officials have tightened the speech restrictions that govern party members, a repudiation of internal calls for more freedom of speech. “A member of the party must not publicly express opinions that are inconsistent with decisions made by the central leadership,” the newly-updated party manual says, according to the South China Morning Post’s translation. That language has been praised by Chinese state media as “boosting democracy within the party,” but it stiffens the previous guidance, which warned against direct contradictions of Chinese authorities. The revision, the first of its kind in 16 years, comes after a year of domestic and international controversy about Chinese censorship — an issue that created a global uproar after doctors who sounded the alarm about the coronavirus pandemic faced punishment. “The key point is freedom of speech, rights guaranteed by the constitution,” Tang Yiming, a classics professor in Wuhan, the city...
    More On: china ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ flops in China box office debut Ex-cybersecurity chief takes blames for massive government hack Chinese students learn English through toilet paper Romney says Russia’s cyber hack of US ‘demands a response’ Following the news of the death of top Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, who tried to issue the first warnings about coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party reportedly used their armies of paid internet trolls to suppress the story. A report co-authored by ProPublica and the New York Times detailed the how Li’s sudden passing at the young age of 34 was described as an “unprecedented challenge” that could set off a “butterfly effect.” “As commenters fight to guide public opinion, they must conceal their identity, avoid crude patriotism and sarcastic praise, and be sleek and silent in achieving results,” reads one directive sent to news outlets and social media platforms, one of thousands reviewed by...
    A recent report from the New York Post claims that Facebook has hired Chinese nationals who are “working on censorship,” at the company. China famously employs the “Great Chinese Firewall” to block many websites within the communist country, including Facebook. The New York Post reports that a Facebook Insider told the publication that at least half a dozen “Chinese nationals who are working on censorship,” are employed at Facebook. The insider told the Post: “So at some point, they [Facebook bosses] thought, ‘Hey, we’re going to get them H-1B visas so they can do this work.’ ” The insider provided the Post with an internal directory of the team that does much of the censorship work at Facebook. According to the Post, the job is referred to as “Hate-Speech Engineering” and most of its members are based out of Facebook’s Seattle offices. Many of those working there have Ph.D.s, and their work involves machine learning and...
    China is one of the most censorious societies on earth. So what better place for ­Facebook to recruit social-media censors? There are at least half a dozen “Chinese nationals who are working on censorship,” a former Facebook insider told me last week. “So at some point, they [Facebook bosses] thought, ‘Hey, we’re going to get them H-1B visas so they can do this work.’ ” The insider shared an internal directory of the team that does much of this work. It’s called Hate-Speech Engineering (George Orwell, call your office), and most of its members are based at Facebook’s offices in Seattle. Many have Ph.D.s, and their work is extremely complex, involving machine learning — teaching “computers how to learn and act without being explicitly programmed,” as the techy Web site DeepAI.org puts it. When it comes to censorship on social media, that means “teaching” the Facebook code so certain content...
    Hollywood producer Judd Apatow has criticized Hollywood for allowing Chinese censorship. Apatow appeared on Monday’s episode of “Mavericks with Ari Melber,” where he discussed censorship and the lack of films made about human rights. “For me what I perceive as more chilling is a corporate type of censorship that people don’t really notice, which is a lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia, China, and they’re just not going to criticize them and they’re not going to let their shows criticize them or they’re not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money,” he explained. (RELATED: If You Watched ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ In China, You Might Have Realized Freddie Mercury All Of Sudden Wasn’t Gay) “So, while we’re all going, ‘can we say this joke or not say that joke?’ on a much...
    The Twitter account belonging to the Chinese virologist who said she can prove the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab and intentionally released was suspended. Dr. Li-Meng Yan’s Twitter account, followed by just under 60,000 people, was suspended this week after she claimed to possess scientific evidence that China manufactured and released the coronavirus. “It comes from the lab, the lab in Wuhan, and the lab is controlled by China’s government,” Yan said in an interview this month, adding that the proposed theory that the virus came from a Chinese wet market was a “smokescreen.” Twitter declined to comment on the suspension. Yan appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program and commented on the censorship she’s encountered. "The scientific world also keeps silent [and] works together with the Chinese Communist Party. They don't want people to know this truth,” she said. “That's why I get suspended....
    Filmmaker Judd Apatow said in an interview this week that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has managed to force Hollywood to self-censor the content it creates through by buying off the industry. Apatow made the remarks during an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber while talking about how the industry censors content to avoid upsetting other nations. “A lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia or China, and they’re just not going to criticize them and they’re not going to let their shows criticize them or they’re not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they make so much money,” Apatow said, noting that the censorship “completely shut(s) down critical content” about important issues. “Instead of us doing business with China and that leading to China being more free, what has happened is that China has bought our silence...
    Hollywood director Judd Apatow has slammed Hollywood’s willingness to censor its content to appease China, saying that Beijing has successfully bought the “silence” of the industry’s power players on matters concerning human rights atrocities in the communist country. In a preview of an upcoming interview for Mavericks with Ari Melber, Apatow — known for The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Anchorman, and Talladega Nights — called out a “corporate type of censorship that people don’t really notice” for regimes such as communist China and the Saudi Arabian monarchy. “A lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia or China, and they’re just not going to criticize them, and they’re not going to let their shows criticize them, or they’re not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money,” Apatow explained. What Apatow described as “much scarier” is how Hollywood has “completely...
    Hollywood writer and director Judd Apatow criticized Hollywood's willingness to overlook human rights abuses around the world. Apatow, 52, acknowledged a "chilling" typing of "censorship" where Hollywood companies are "not going to criticize" foreign actors who are committing atrocities around the world during an interview with MSNBC's Ari Melber for his series Mavericks with Ari Melber. “What I perceive as more chilling is a corporate type of censorship that people don’t really notice, which is a lot of these giant corporate entities have business with countries around the world, Saudi Arabia or China, and they’re just not going to criticize them, and they’re not going to let their shows criticize them, or they’re not going to air documentaries that go deep into truthful areas because they just make so much money,” Apatow explained. He added, “They have just completely shut down critical content about human rights abuses in China.” Apatow,...
    More than 180,000 people in the United States have now died from the coronavirus, a horrifying loss of human life that stands in profound contrast to the pandemic’s duration and severity in the rest of the world. Covid-19 “brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees,” with everything from the Trump administration’s destructive response to an underfunded public health system to systemic racism and white supremacy woven throughout. Rampant throughout this crisis, yet also throughout much of the world, has been mis- and disinformation—lies spread by the commander-in-chief about ingesting bleach; manufactured absurdities blasted through authoritarian propaganda outlets; falsehoods rumored around on Facebook or YouTube, or even into my own inboxes via text. In tandem with said falsehoods about the pandemic, there is an accelerating crisis of global censorship.WIRED OPINIONABOUTJustin Sherman (@jshermcyber) is a contributor at WIRED and a research fellow at the Tech, Law & Security Program at...
    When the novel coronavirus was first discovered in China last winter, the country responded aggressively, placing tens of millions of people into strict lockdown. As Covid-19 spread from Wuhan to the rest of the world, the Chinese government was just as forceful in controlling how the health crisis was portrayed and discussed among its own people. Politically sensitive material, like references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, have long been forbidden on China’s highly censored internet, but researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab say these efforts reached a new level during the pandemic. “The blunt range of censored content goes beyond what we expected, including general health information such as the fact [that] the virus spreads from human contact,” says Masashi Crete-Nishihata, the associate director of Citizen Lab, a research group that focuses on technology and human rights. Citizen Lab's latest report, published earlier this week, finds that...
    Beijing (CNN Business)A Chinese advertisement for Cartier has reignited discussion about the country's taboo around LGBTQ rights. The French luxury jeweler released a minute-long ad Monday to promote its wares — including its iconic Trinity ring — ahead of China's Qixi Festival on August 25, the country's answer to Valentine's Day. The ad features couples in romantic settings and groups of people in cars and at beach bonfires wearing the signature tri-color bands. It ends with the message, "How far would you go for love?"There are no subtitles or narration in the video. But a printed version of the ad posted on the jeweler's official page on the Chinese e-commerce website Tmall features descriptive text under an image of two men who were shown cycling together in the video. The text reads: "Father and son are also friends — happily sharing life's journey."That caption raised many eyebrows on the Chinese...
    The left-wing PEN America has repeatedly attacked President Donald Trump as a menace to free speech. Now the elite cultural organization finds itself in the awkward position of agreeing with the Trump administration on the issue of Hollywood’s cozy relationship with China’s Communist regime, which is suppressing the freedom of expression around the world. PEN America published a scathing report Wednesday in which it said that Beijing is “creating a climate of self-censorship” in Hollywood, with studios routinely making compromises on free expression by changing the content of their movies that are intended for both American and foreign audiences. “These concessions to the power of the Chinese market have happened mostly quietly, with little attention and, often, little debate. Steadily, a new set of mores has taken hold in Hollywood, one in which appeasing Chinese government investors and gatekeepers has simply become a way of doing business,” the study says. “We...
    China has issued new guidelines targeting the Christian faith, filmmakers claim, banning content such as miracles and healing in movies. China’s National Administration of Radio and Television, which controls radio and TV in the communist country, now outlaws 20 new categories of content, including material promoting fabricated history, sacred relics and demonic possessions, UCA News reported. Wu Daxiong, a Shanghai television producer, called the guidelines a “fatal blow” to the industry as it limits the scope of their production. A Catholic filmmaker said the new guidelines “almost entirely ban” faith-based content in a country that is already hostile to the freedom of religion. “If we film the life of Jesus avoiding the content banned by the guidelines, we will only be presenting Jesus as an ordinary person, and this is unacceptable to Christians,” the filmmaker identified only as Joseph told UCA News. Father Yo of Shandong also questioned the guidelines....
    BEIJING (AP) — The former chairman of a state-owned real estate company who publicly criticized President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and will be prosecuted on corruption charges, the party announced Friday. Ren Zhiqiang, who had become known for speaking up about censorship and other sensitive topics, disappeared from public view in March after publishing an essay online that accused Xi of mishandling the outbreak that began in December in the central city of Wuhan. Ren, 69, is accused of corruption, embezzlement, taking bribes and abusing his position at a state-owned company, the Discipline Inspection Commission of Xicheng District in Beijing said on its website. The former chairman and deputy party secretary of Huayuan Group was expelled from the ruling party and his case was turned over to prosecutors, the agency said. It gave no details of the offenses. Xi,...
    BEIJING (AP) — The former chairman of a state-owned real estate company who publicly criticized President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been expelled from the ruling Communist Party and will be prosecuted on corruption charges, the party announced Friday. Ren Zhiqiang, who had become known for speaking up about censorship and other sensitive topics, disappeared from public view in March after publishing an essay online that accused Xi of mishandling the outbreak that began in December in the central city of Wuhan. Ren, 69, is accused of corruption, embezzlement, taking bribes and abusing his position at a state-owned company, the Discipline Inspection Commission of Xicheng District in Beijing said on its website. The former chairman and deputy party secretary of Huayuan Group was expelled from the ruling party and his case was turned over to prosecutors, the agency said. It gave no details of...
    SHANGHAI – To protest censorship during the COVID-19 outbreak, a Chinese artist known as Brother Nut kept his mouth shut for 30 days, using metal clasps, gloves, duct tape and other items. In the project – #shutupfor30days – he also sealed his mouth with packing tape with “404,” the error code for a webpage not found, written across it, a nod to the blocking of online content that is common in China for sensitive issues. “If you ask me how an artist should digest unfair treatment, such as violence or censorship, my first reaction is: keep fighting, with art,” said Brother Nut. The 39-year-old artist has built a reputation for statement-making projects in a country where the room for dissent has shrunk and censorship has intensified under President Xi Jinping. China faced a barrage of criticism over the virus that emerged late last year in Wuhan, from being slow to...
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - To protest censorship during the COVID-19 outbreak, a Chinese artist known as Brother Nut kept his mouth shut for 30 days, using metal clasps, gloves, duct tape and other items. In the project - #shutupfor30days - he also sealed his mouth with packing tape with "404", the error code for a webpage not found, written across it, a nod to the blocking of online content that is common in China for sensitive issues. "If you ask me how an artist should digest unfair treatment, such as violence or censorship, my first reaction is: keep fighting, with art," said Brother Nut. The 39-year-old artist has built a reputation for statement-making projects in a country where the room for dissent has shrunk and censorship has intensified under President Xi Jinping. China faced a barrage of criticism over the virus that emerged late last year in Wuhan, from being slow...
    British universities are engaging with a Chinese online platform so that its learning materials comply with China’s repressive internet regulations. Four top Russell Group universities — King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London, Southampton, and York — are taking part in the pilot programme that would allow Chinese students to study for British degrees online without falling foul of the communist nation’s internet censorship that blocks certain websites. Run by JISC, which provides digital services for British universities, the system sets up a connection between the institution and the student in China via the Chinese internet company Alibaba Cloud, which is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group headed by Jack Ma, one of the wealthiest men in the world. The system works by only allowing access to “resources that are controlled and specified” by the university. The resources need to be on the “security ‘allow’ list”, according to JISC, meaning that...
    Journalist Tracy Wen Liu, who did some on-the-ground reporting from Wuhan during the worst days of the coronavirus outbreak, warned in a Foreign Policy article on Tuesday that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is once again censoring doctors and patients to keep them from discussing the truth of the pandemic and China’s response. Liu cited some of her own reporting from Wuhan this year to illustrate that the notorious muzzling of doctors and scrubbing of social media posts is happening again. She said her own account on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site that stands in for Twitter, was blocked in May despite accumulating some 90,000 followers after nine years of posts. “A wave of new censorship has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, most of it focused on covering up the stories around COVID-19 itself,” Liu said. In January and February, the CCP was mostly concerned with suppressing the horror stories...
    The encrypted instant messenger Telegram said on Monday it’s ramping up efforts to develop anti-censorship technologies serving users in countries where it is banned or partially blocked, including China and Iran. “Over the course of the last two years, we had to regularly upgrade our ‘unblocking’ technology to stay ahead of the censors… We don’t want this technology to get rusty and obsolete. That is why we have decided to direct our anti-censorship resources into other places where Telegram is still banned by governments — places like Iran and China,” co-founder and chief executive Pavel Durov, who lived in Russia for years before going into self-imposed exile, posted on his personal Telegram channel on Monday. The pledge noticeably came on the heels of the Russian government’s decision to lift its ban on Telegram last week. The app has generated impressive growth in Russia even after it was officially banned in...
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