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posted by mrpg on Saturday July 15, @11:48AM   Printer-friendly
from the people's-republic-of-censorship dept.

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo died in custody on Thursday. Now comes the censorship:

After Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese dissident and 2010 Nobel Peace laureate, died in custody on Thursday evening, his Chinese admirers went online to voice their sympathy and grief — and countless government censors buckled down for a long night's work.

The Chinese government's drive to silence discussion of Liu — who died of liver cancer at age 61 — predates even 2009, when he was handed an 11-year sentence for helping draft Charter 08, a document calling for multiparty democracy and freedom of speech. On Chinese social networks, searches for "Liu Xiaobo" return nothing, and most Chinese citizens barely know his name.

Yet on Friday, China's social media sites were filled with expressions of solidarity and grief, suggesting that Liu's case — and his ideals — may be more influential in China than many outsiders believe. These expressions were often cryptic and muted — snatches of poetry, allegorical quotes — but still, the censors responded in force.

On Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, they deleted photos of Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since Liu's arrest, though she has never been charged with a crime. They blocked flickering candle emojis, the letters RIP and LXB, and the dates "1955-2017," the years of Liu's birth and death. They removed poems by Liu and Liu Xia; photos of the South African revolutionary Nelson Mandela, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1993; and even the phrase: "someone died today."

"I think this kind of pokes a hole in the narrative that he's not well known in China," said William Nee, a Hong Kong-based researcher at Amnesty International. "I don't know if I'd characterize this as a paradigm shift. But it might be that some of the seeds he'd started to plant — or, the ideas in Charter 08 — have started to bear fruit among the rights defense community, and they're becoming more well known and are spreading among parts of the general public."

[...] Yet Friday's outpouring of support also exposed some of the censorship apparatus' weaknesses. On Friday, "LXB" was censored, but "XB" was not. The Chinese word for candle — 蜡烛 — was censored, but adding a space between the characters — 蜡 烛 — brought up several results, many related to Liu's death.

This editorial will set you straight.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @12:42PM (27 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @12:42PM (#539525)
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:37PM (#539538)

      He earned his. When are you going to fuckin EARN yours?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jdavidb on Saturday July 15, @01:55PM (10 children)

      by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 15, @01:55PM (#539544) Homepage Journal

      I believe it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish Government, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Doesn't matter if he's a status seeker or not - individuals can decide if they want to follow him or not.

      --
      ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @02:07PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @02:07PM (#539549)

        Yes Putin should be able to spend as much money as he wants changing American hearts and minds. In the end it's up to the people if they want to vote for his puppet. Right?

        • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Sunday July 16, @12:59AM (3 children)

          by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @12:59AM (#539719) Homepage Journal
          Russia is a ridiculous distraction from the problems at home. It's not even good recycled garbage. Wasn't scared of the Russians way back when, and I'm even less scared of them now. What I am scared of is giving a madman the power to wage war in Syria for no reason whatsoever, not to mention nukes and a ridiculous quarrel with Korea. When we listen to the Russia headlines we are being completely played.
          --
          ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @01:48AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @01:48AM (#539738)

            Russia is just a convenient example to shine the light on your hypocrisy . Only allowing those you want to play the game with, being allowed to play the game. 2 parties no interference. Only rich Americans dictating the rules and whipping up a frenzy if anyone even hints at another way.

            Why shouldn't money or power from any other country be able to influence American elections? If you can convince enough people to vote for it willingly isn't that still democracy? Seems there is one set of rules for America, but then they go around telling everyone else what to do, and how to run their countries.

            • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Sunday July 16, @01:27PM

              by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @01:27PM (#539887) Homepage Journal
              My hypocrisy? I don't think the US government should interfere in other people's elections or their countries at all.
              --
              ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @03:03PM (#539904)

            Hillary didn't get elected, and Obama is no longer president. But we can thank our stars that the British parliament voted against military action in Syria, that really cooled down the acceptability with our government a few years back.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @11:12PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @11:12PM (#539685)

        What are you? Some kind of commie? [google.com]
        Sounds like you're talking REVOLUTION there, comrade.

        .
        FTFS: died of liver cancer at age 61

        He was denied proper treatment for his cancer.

        ...and, in case you think that this was a thing that is done only by China's "Communist" Party, there's a political prisoner of USA that I've previously mentioned. [soylentnews.org]

        Grandmother and teacher-turned-lawyer Lynne Stewart was a real lioness when it came to defending civil liberties.
        In the post-9/11 hysteria, she was imprisoned for doing her best to defend someone accused of a crime (terrorism).

        The statue under which she was charged was on the books, but in its existence NO ONE had ever gone to trial due to it.
        (Its constitutionality is highly questionable.)

        They kept her in prison without proper treatment making sure that her cancer metastasized, guaranteeing a death sentence for doing her job (upholding the Constitution).

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Sunday July 16, @01:00AM (3 children)

          by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @01:00AM (#539721) Homepage Journal
          I'm the diametric opposite of a commie.
          --
          ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @06:47PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @06:47PM (#539965)

            Yeah. That's been pretty obvious from your comments.
            Quoting from a document with "Declaration" in its title rather than "Manifesto" makes that clear.
            Still, that script which you referenced led to something that is typically called a "revolution".

            N.B. I'll argue against that characterization:
            The 13 colonies had an overlord class before the "revolution" and USA had one of those afterwards.
            The system that was set up allowed only white male landowners to vote.
            Additionally, slavery was at the core before and after.

            ...and, there were still ridiculous taxation mechanisms.
            So, almost immediately, there was a counterrevolution, which was put down by force of arms.
            Shays' Rebellion [historic-northampton.org]

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Monday July 17, @05:11PM

              by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @05:11PM (#540405) Homepage Journal
              My job now is to convince people that when their neighbors want a new government they shouldn't fight a war to deny them the right to do so.
              --
              ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
            • (Score: 2) by jdavidb on Monday July 17, @05:13PM

              by jdavidb (5690) Subscriber Badge on Monday July 17, @05:13PM (#540406) Homepage Journal
              On another note, I lean towards viewing the U.S. revolution as a power grab by the up and coming wealthy in the colonies. One government was replaced with another. Most people accept that it was an improvement. I'm not so sure. The basic principle I quote from the Declaration is quite sound, though, and if it were universally respected would prevent all power grabs.
              --
              ⓋⒶ☮✝🕊 Secession is the right of all sentient beings
    • (Score: 2) by linkdude64 on Saturday July 15, @05:00PM (4 children)

      by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 15, @05:00PM (#539578)

      Pretty interesting to see him from another angle.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday July 15, @11:22PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 15, @11:22PM (#539687) Journal
        It's a nasty piece of propaganda. All one needs to do to deflate it is ask what sort of status has Liu Xiaobo obtained as a result of his so-called "status-hunting"? Apparently, plenty of jail time and some of the nastiest obituaries ever written. This is what tyranny does. It chews up anyone who doesn't toe the line and then writes absolute lies about them.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday July 15, @11:40PM (2 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday July 15, @11:40PM (#539693) Journal
        And the commenters are remarkable. Take this example:

        Howard J. Harrison July 14, 2017 at 15:47:

        Tiananmen seems so long ago, yet one remembers it like it was yesterday. Tiananmen. Berlin. 1989. What a time!

        That that time and this time should be encompassed in a mere thirty years is surreal.

        Thirty years on, one almost envies the Chinese their regime.

        Suppose that Americans like me now go to New York’s Times Square to demand the termination of democracy. Will the regime send the tanks?

        Just think of it. Americans going to Times Square to demand tyranny and getting it in the form of tanks. You got what you asked for. That's poetic justice! Then there's "Karl":

        Karl July 15, 2017 at 11:41

        Interesting. It seems that Liu’s status maximising didn’t work so well after 1989. Trying to be holier than everyone else works only among people who share your Religion. His Religion was Western progressivism, which apparently is not a religion widely shared in China. So he couldn’t get much status in China, but quite a lot amongst his Western co-religionists.

        Sure, in 1989 things could have turned out differently. There was (maybe still is-don’t know anything about China) a chance for establishing progressivsim as the dominant Religion in China.

        Your comment about the US having the most advanced PR apparatus is only partly correct. This apparatus is very adept at promoting stuff to members of mainstream US culture. It still works, but not quite that well in Europe or Australia. It works even less well in China. If you want to produce effective propaganda, you have to understand the culture of the people you want to influence.

        Understaning other cultures isn’t a strong point of the Cathedral

        And "Karl" never wondered why someone would do something so suboptimal for 30 years except to dismiss it as "religion" and lousy US propaganda at work. "Understaning" other people (much less other cultures) may not be Karl's strong suit either.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:02AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:02AM (#539786)

          It's a neoreactionary blog and neoreactionaries oppose democracy, so it wouldn't be far-fetched for the first commenter to demonstrate against democracy.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday July 16, @09:45AM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday July 16, @09:45AM (#539854) Journal

            It's a neoreactionary blog and neoreactionaries oppose democracy, so it wouldn't be far-fetched for the first commenter to demonstrate against democracy.

            I'm not surprised. Not clear what he thinks gets proved though, if his protest against democracy gets crushed by tanks rather than the usual treatment of police officers loitering around.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RamiK on Saturday July 15, @05:51PM (9 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Saturday July 15, @05:51PM (#539604)

      Unless someone is revealing state secrets that threatens one's nation against outside military forces, nothing said or done justifies censorship. The only (arguably) widely-accepted exception to this is when terrorists are calling for people to blow themselves up for some cause or the next...

      So unless this guy is either or both, the censorship is uncalled for.

      As for the actual content of the blog, you might be shocked to learn this, but a considerable number of ethnic minorities (Tibetans + a few religious groups come to mind) in China are colonized and oppressed by the Chinese government to the point they'd like nothing more than western colonization. It's similar to when the US invaded Iraq and had support from multiple factions despite the injustice of the invasion. In many ways, it's not too different from the Scottish\Irish\Palestinian Independence movements where the consequences of their so their desired independence will simply put them under the yoke of another oppressor (France+Germany\Egypt and co...).

      In fair disclosure, I don't agree with the Tibetans. Believe religious freedom in China is an overrated cause not worth fighting. Generally consider the Palestinian and Israeli causes a loser's bet one way or the next. And think the Scottish and Irish should make a run for it as soon as possible.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday July 15, @11:39PM (5 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 15, @11:39PM (#539692) Journal

        Do you think Scots and Irish have common grounds such that they may create a union of some sorts that would benefit them both?

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday July 16, @08:39AM (4 children)

          by RamiK (1813) on Sunday July 16, @08:39AM (#539839)

          Disliking the English and having a common religion and language (for the most part) was enough for others to form a union. And they already inter-marry to a great extent... But for economic benefits they might be better off joining the EU. But that raises all the anti-Muslim immigrants sentiments and economic interests that could just as well keep them in the UK instead of going independent...

          But yeah sure. Plenty of common ground between the two to form a union.

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          compiling...
          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 16, @09:19AM (3 children)

            by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 16, @09:19AM (#539847) Journal

            Is it the Irish or Scots that have the anti-Muslim immigrants sentiments?
            Otoh, it's likely common all over the west by now.

            • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday July 16, @09:33AM (2 children)

              by RamiK (1813) on Sunday July 16, @09:33AM (#539850)

              The way it's perceived is that, post-Brexit, staying with the UK means less immigrants. Leaving the UK means an uncertainty between being part of the EU that lets the immigrants and refuges in or going independent and suffering the economic consequences. There's enough (old) people that prefer sticking to what they know as well as enough (young) people who are more concerned with the immigrants then with the English to sway the vote either way depending on current events.

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              compiling...
              • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Sunday July 16, @09:52AM (1 child)

                by kaszz (4211) on Sunday July 16, @09:52AM (#539855) Journal

                What do you think of the possibility that a giant part of EU simple breaks free and forms a new union. Ie the Baltic states, Visegrad countries, Britain, Nordic countries, Switzerland, Austria ..?
                Many of them are high performers and connected. This would free them from a lot of baggage.

                The ugly consequence is that it would form a Europe A and B team.

                • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday July 16, @12:52PM

                  by RamiK (1813) on Sunday July 16, @12:52PM (#539879)

                  There's so many financial tools compared to the actual production and exports of goods that "high performers" becomes a dubious term for EU members. Money gets swapped around so debts are kept off the books. Food prices are kept below production costs as EU - rather than local - subsidies make up the difference. Turks and Poles live in Germany, work in a processing nickel from Greece, to produce electronics sold by France and Denmark. All the while, the UK is making up it's trade off intermediary taxation between the EU market and everyone else... So now with Brexit and the recession of worldwide shipping, they're in a trade deficit.

                  Overall, breaking up the EU is very hard. A lot of symbiosis everywhere with plenty of corruption gluing it all up together. It's not impossible for it to break, it's just hard to predict seeing how there's so much going below the table...

                  --
                  compiling...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @11:42PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @11:42PM (#539696)

        revealing state secrets that threatens one's nation against outside military forces

        Y'know, if governments (USA, China, et al.) weren't so goddamned obsessed with aggression, Imperialism, and Mercantilism, this wouldn't be a problem.

        Costa Rica hasn't had a military since shortly after WWII and things are going swimmingly there.
        Costa Rica Has Healthcare, Education, & Pensions For All Because They Scrapped Their Army In 1948 [googleusercontent.com] (orig) [dissidentvoice.org]

        The "Security State" thing is mostly unnecessary bullshit.
        N.B. The speech by Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson) is really silly when you realize that USA.gov is occupying part of Cuba.)

        ...and, OBTW, what are all these big goddamned secrets that are kept from the citizens of the USA such that they don't even know where their taxes are being spent.
        That sounds like Totalitarianism to me.

        -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday July 16, @09:27AM (1 child)

          by RamiK (1813) on Sunday July 16, @09:27AM (#539848)

          this wouldn't be a problem.

          Mind you, you're expanding and paraphrasing the "nothing to hide" argument to nations. There are vulnerabilities that security can't be provided for that should at least be kept obscure until a solution can present itself. Vulnerable infrastructure... Security arrangements for dignitaries... Even the budget reports for projects addressing the former two. It's always a problem that challenges the need of the public to make an informed decision.

          --
          compiling...
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @07:09PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @07:09PM (#539974)

            Yeah, nations have always had a need for -some- level of secrecy.
            I did qualify my response with "mostly".

            The problem is with the quantities of information that get classified and the number of low-level people who get to apply that label, resulting in the "Security State".
            Making e.g. the lunch menu for a meeting classified is simply abusive of the process.

            If classification of information required the signature of e.g. a 2-star or higher, the problem would go away:
            A general would quickly realize that he doesn't have that much spare time to waste on trivial nonsense and he would immediately rein in the excesses.

            I'm reminded of the counterargument made by the pro-abortion crowd:
            Abortions should be safe, legal, and RARE.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:20PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:20PM (#539533)

    Just spreading some cheer! I can't believe it's already 2018!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 15, @01:33PM (#539536)

      IDGI

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday July 15, @11:41PM (1 child)

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday July 15, @11:41PM (#539694) Journal

    Isn't a lot of Chinese community discussion taking place electronically outside China? such that any content censorship is rendered worthless.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:08AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 16, @04:08AM (#539788)

      ...if removing 1.4 billion people from the conversation is worthless.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, @02:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, @02:50PM (#541442)

    This is google. This is facebook. This is total control over you.

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