Tag: Censorship

They Documented the Coronavirus Crisis in Wuhan. Then They Vanished.

HONG KONG — The beige van squatted outside of a Wuhan hospital, its side and back doors ajar. Fang Bin, a local clothing salesman, peered inside as he walked past. He groaned: “So many dead.” He counted five, six, seven, eight body bags. “This is too many.” That moment, in a 40-minute video about the coronavirus […]

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The Coronavirus Story is Too Big for China to Spin

Reactions to Li Wenliang’s death last Friday filled the timelines of my social media accounts almost immediately. Post after post on my WeChat. Grief, frustration, anger. A week later, the groundswell of emotions seems unabated. Dr. Li, a 34-year-old ophthalmologist in Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, was one of […]

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Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content

LONDON — Britain on Wednesday introduced a plan that would give the government more latitude to regulate internet content, as part of an effort to force Facebook, YouTube and other internet giants to do more to police their platforms. The government said the country’s media regulator, known as Ofcom, would take on new responsibilities monitoring […]

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In Amazon’s Bookstore, No Second Chances for the Third Reich

SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon is quietly canceling its Nazis. Over the past 18 months, the retailer has removed two books by David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as several titles by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. Amazon has also prohibited volumes like “The Ruling […]

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Where’s Xi? China’s Leader Commands Coronavirus Fight From Safe Heights

WUHAN, China — President Xi Jinping strode onstage before an adoring audience in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing less than three weeks ago, trumpeting his successes in steering China through a tumultuous year and promising “landmark” progress in 2020. “Every single Chinese person, every member of the Chinese nation, should feel proud […]

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Can We Please Just Blame the Virus?

HONG KONG — The Chinese police have exercised unusual restraint in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. It seems that just eight people have been detained so far, all doctors who early on turned to work-related chat groups to warn of the dangers of a new mysterious infection. The local police — an honorary, if […]

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A Rare Online Revolt Emerges in China Over Death of Coronavirus Whistle-Blower

They posted videos of the Les Misérables song, “Do You Hear the People Sing.” They invoked article No. 35 of China’s Constitution, which stipulates freedom of speech. They tweeted a phrase from the poem “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The Chinese public have staged what amounts to an online revolt after the death of a […]

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The Subtle Muckrakers of the Coronavirus Epidemic

The outbreak of the coronavirus has brought international scrutiny down on China’s political system. Again. A few commentators have applauded the efficiency of the Chinese Communist Party’s response, but most have zoomed in on its weaknesses. Some have even blamed the party itself for the outbreak, calling the disease a “Communist coronavirus” or “the Belt […]

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Librarians Could Face Charges for ‘Age-Inappropriate’ Material Under Proposal

Public library employees in Missouri could face a fine or jail time for providing “age-inappropriate sexual material” under a bill proposed by a state lawmaker. The bill, known as the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act,” has drawn criticism by library and freedom-of-speech groups since it was introduced last month by State Representative Ben Baker, […]

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When Will We See Bolton’s Book?

Thanks to a leak to the press, we all now know that John Bolton has written an explosive account of President Trump’s fateful decision to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in security assistance from Ukraine. But it is far from clear how much of this story the public will be permitted to read, and […]

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Why This Iowa Campus Is Erasing Political Chalk Talk

AMES, Iowa — The well-trodden pathways at Iowa State University are usually caked with chalk during an election year. Students streaming past the domed administration building, hunched against the biting cold, could look down at their phones and expect to see “Trump 2020” or “Pete!” in dusty block letters. Instead, the sidewalks are bare. With […]

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Virus Crisis Exposes Cracks in China’s Facade of Unity

From the outside, China’s Communist Party appears powerful and effective. It has tightened its control over Chinese politics, culture, the economy and everyday life, projecting the image of a gradually unifying society. The coronavirus outbreak has blown up that facade. Staffers at the prestigious Union Hospital in Wuhan, the city at the center of the […]

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As Virus Spreads, Chinese Social Media Fills With Something New: Anger

SHANGHAI — Recently, someone following the coronavirus crisis through China’s official news media would see lots of footage, often set to stirring music, praising the heroism and sacrifice of health workers marching off to stricken places. But someone following the crisis through social media would see something else entirely: vitriolic comments and mocking memes about […]

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India Restores Some Internet Access in Kashmir After Long Shutdown

NEW DELHI — Months after imposing a sweeping communications blackout in Kashmir, the Indian government on Saturday unblocked several hundred websites in the disputed Himalayan region, bringing a tentative end to the world’s longest internet shutdown in a democracy. The announcement comes nearly half a year after India’s government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, […]

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Panic and Criticism Spread on Chinese Social Media Over Coronavirus

HONG KONG — While China’s state-run media has urged calm and praised the official response to the coronavirus outbreak, a different story is playing out across the country’s tightly controlled social media networks. In the digital world, China’s citizens are expressing panic and frustration. They are overcoming a lack of reporting in the official media […]

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China Silences Critics Over Coronavirus Outbreak

The SARS disaster was supposed to drag China into a new era of openness and responsibility. The deadly disease rippled across the world 17 years ago, abetted by a Chinese government that covered up its spread. As the scope of it became clear, China’s journalists, intellectuals and other critics helped shame Beijing into opening up […]

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As a Deadly Virus Spreads, China Controls the Narrative

The SARS disaster was supposed to drag China into a new era of openness and responsibility. The deadly disease rippled across the world 17 years ago, abetted by a Chinese government that covered up its spread. As the scope of it became clear, China’s journalists, intellectuals and other critics helped shame Beijing into opening up […]

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