Censorship Circumvention in China has increased – California

Censorship Circumvention in China has increased – California
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, more people in China circumvented censorship restrictions opening a gateway to sensitive and long-hidden information. Research that was published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a spike in China-based activity on apps such as Twitter and Wikipedia that was long banned by the Beijing government.
  • Users also found sensitive information about China’s politics, history and human rights records along with the information on the pandemic. The search for Covid-19 related information in China motivated individuals in finding ways to skirt the regulations imposed by the government and the technologies that block internet use. This led to the discovery of censored material that is perceived as damaging.
  • Twitter was used to examine a sample of Chinese-language accounts by Researchers whose self-reported locations are in China. Several trends such as increased viewership of Chinese-language Wikipedia pages on sensitive topics, Facebook becoming the 250th most downloaded app in China and Twitter becoming the 200th downloaded app was found.
  • It was found that the users who post non-political tweets still follow foreign news media, pro-democracy activists from Taiwan or Hong Kong or other banned Twitter accounts. The Chinese government has been relying on what people say to monitor the population but in the research paper, it was seen that people also reveal their sentiments by whom they follow.

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