Critic Of Chinese Censorship Censored: Microblog With 1.1 Million Followers Deleted

from the maybe-they-won't-notice dept

It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone to learn that a popular writer and well-known critic of China’s pervasive censorship system has run into trouble for his views. Fortunately, in this case that doesn’t mean getting arrested, but nonetheless involves quite a dramatic slapdown:

The online Sina Weibo microblogging account of Murong Xuecun, one of China’s most popular writers and one of the country’s foremost critics of censorship, has been deleted from the site, suspected to be part of the government’s efforts to crack down on online rumors by targeting high-profile users.

Murong’s account, which had more than 1.1 million followers, was taken down from the Twitter-link website on May 11, 2013. His writing as well as his microblogging discusses social issues in contemporary China such as corruption and media censorship.

The Global Voices story quoted above goes on to describe the ways in which some of those 1.1 million followers have reacted, and how many feel that Sina Weibo is diminished by Murong’s absence. It also points out that all of his posts have been preserved and are available — but on the other side of the Great Firewall of China (GFW). Although only those with the requisite technical know-how to tunnel under the GFW using VPNs will be able to access the now-deleted messages, that doesn’t mean the Chinese authorities have really won here. After all, using censorship to silence a critic of censorship means that his 1.1 million (ex-)followers now have definitive proof of what he was warning them about.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and on Google+

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: sina weibo

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Critic Of Chinese Censorship Censored: Microblog With 1.1 Million Followers Deleted”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Brilliant, just brilliant...

A proportionally small number on it’s own yes, but as far as a ‘seed’ group from which the news can spread, that is a LOT of people to start out with, so the spread of news regarding this shutdown is likely to be very quick and very widely dispersed, making damage control on the censors’ side quite tricky.

Anonymous Coward says:

given the over reaction to this sort of thing in ALL countries, but particularly in places like China, i wonder how long it will be before the news of his arrest, trial and sentencing are released? i then wonder how long it will be before those witting similar blogs in so-called Democratic countries receive the same treatment?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...