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Censored Contagion: How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media | The Citizen Lab

By Lotus Ruan, Jeffrey Knockel, and Masashi Crete-Nishihata
March 3, 2020
  • YY, a live-streaming platform in China, began to censor keywords related to the coronavirus outbreak on December 31, 2019, a day after doctors (including the late Dr. Li Wenliang) tried to warn the public about the then unknown virus.
  • WeChat broadly censored coronavirus-related content (including critical and neutral information) and expanded the scope of censorship in February 2020. Censored content included criticism of government, rumours and speculative information on the epidemic, references to Dr. Li Wenliang, and neutral references to Chinese government efforts on handling the outbreak that had been reported on state media.
  • Many of the censorship rules are broad and effectively block messages that include names for the virus or sources for information about it. Such rules may restrict vital communication related to disease information and prevention.

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Source: Censored Contagion: How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media – The Citizen Lab

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