Following the recent California summit between Barack Obama and Chinese president Xi Jinping, Chinese micro-bloggers picked up on an uncanny resemblance between a photograph of the two presidents strolling through the Sunnylands estate and a cartoon image of A. A. Milne’s cartoon creations.
The two images were published side by side this week on the Twitter-like Chinese social media site Weibo.
But the posts were almost immediately “harmonized”, as censors appeared to take exception to the comparison between their president and a podgy bear who once roamed Sussex’s Ashdown Forest.
The Communist Party’s internet censors often seem determined to delete even the slightest hint of government criticism from social media sites.
Earlier this month, authorities targeted a photo-shopped image – also on Weibo – of the famous Tiananmen Square photograph where a lone protester faces down a line of tanks.
The image – in which the tanks were replaced with giant rubber ducks – irritated authorities enough that not only did they remove the picture itself, they also blocked all internet searches related to the squeaky bath toys.
But a recent Harvard study, which analysed millions of micro-blog posts, concluded that posts “with negative, even vitriolic, criticism of the state, its leaders, and its policies are not more likely to be censored” than other posts.
In fact, the study found that the censors’ key aim was to curtail “collective action by silencing comments that represent, reinforce, or spur social mobilization”.
There is no suggestion that Winnie the Pooh or Tigger had been plotting to stir up social unrest in China.Source: The Telegraph – Chinese censors target Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
Editor’s Note: Winnie the Pooh was often found with his hand in the honey pot.
- China launches new censorship crackdown on internet celebrities (chinadailymail.com)
- China’s censorship of social media; how they do it (chinadailymail.com)
- Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger (4kigurumi.wordpress.com)
- Chinese censors target Winnie the Pooh and Tigger (engineeringevil.com)
- Netizens pooh-pooh Weibo as Pooh pic of US-China poobahs barred (wantchinatimes.com)
- Update on Pooh, Tigger, and the 2 Presidents: Art Recreates Life, not Vice Versa (theatlantic.com)
- America’s recovering economy turned the Washington fiscal fight into a sideshow (qz.com)
Categories: Media & Entertainment