It’s no secret that the Chinese government is not a fan of people speaking their minds. The whole “tossing people in jail for revealing their crappy behavior” thing was kind of a big hint as to their views on free speech.
So, companies like Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, receive censorship guidelines from the party and hire censors to spend hours combing every single line, looking for stuff that needs to be struck. And apparently the stress finally got to one of them.
It all started with an editorial that ran in the Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly, about how it would be kind of nice to, you know, be run by the rule of law and the Chinese constitution instead of by a heavy-handed regime. The Chinese government, showingit has no grasp of irony, then heavy-handedly reedited it, without the paper’s knowledge, into how great the Communist Party was and how law-abiding it was.
Needlessly to say, this being the Internet age, this did not go without comment, and China, thinking it can still control information, brought the hammer down to the point that mentioning “South” could get a tweet yanked.
The manager, one Yu Yang, apparently got so sick of users complaining about deleted tweets that he actually laid out exactly how your censorship sausage is made, Chinese style:
“Classmate Xuan” [a nickname for the Propaganda Department] will watch every single act. Once the leaves of the tree move, the bell rings… We have to take orders whenever we hear the ringing bell.
We feel bad for the guy who lost his job and might even be facing a lot worse considering who he’s potentially angered. But it’s nice to see at least one guy telling it to the Chinese like it is.