New measures including holding social media moderators responsible for content posted in their forums, the end of anonymous posting and an upcoming ban on Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are the latest blows to what is left of internet freedom in China.
The News Lens
By: Cedric Alviani
In the months prior to the Communist Party of China’s 19th Congress, which begins on 18
October, President Xi Jinping has been deploying a major arsenal of repressive measures against online social networks with the aim of perfecting the “Great Firewall” that censors the Internet in China.
Just weeks ahead of the Congress, which is expected to renew Xi’s mandate for another five years, the U.S. encrypted messaging app WhatsApp suddenly began malfunctioning in China, in a sign that a new turning-point had been reached in the Party’s censorship. Use of WhatsApp had until then been tolerated.
In fact, control of the Chinese internet has grown day by day for more than a year. President Xi, who likes to call himself the New Helmsman in an allusion to Mao Zedong (known as The Great Helmsman), has established a very sophisticated system of information censorship and surveillance in recent years, one that has now gone to a whole new level.
Since becoming president, Xi has proved to be a determined enemy of press freedom, pursuing complete control of the media in order protect China against what he calls the influence of “hostile foreign powers.” [FULL STORY]