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Chinese censors target Winnie the Pooh and Tigger


TIGGER_2590531bChina’s army of internet censors has picked an unusual target in their battle to wipe dissent from the country’s computer screens: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger.

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.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post said over-zealous censors had “nipped in the bud what could have been a positive PR campaign tailor-made for President Xi Jinping.”

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.

ducks_2590671cThe 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.

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About Political Atheist

Living in South East Asia (Vietnam & Cambodia). At the ending/starting point of the more than 1000 year old SIlk Road.

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