In case you were wondering whether it was a good idea to start up that Tiananmen Square and/or Falungong WeChat group with your buddies, take our advice and skip it. According to state media reports last Tuesday, the CCP is planning on engaging in another month-long crackdown campaign on the popular mobile messaging application.
A member responsible for the campaign (whose name has been censored, of course) released the following statement: “Some people are using this platform to disseminate negative or illegal harmful information to the public, seriously damaging the internet system [Note: What is an ‘internet system’?] and hurting public interest, causing dissatisfaction among internet users.” According to Reuters, this “negative or illegal information” Mr. Anonymous is referring to consists of “rumors and ideas on violence, terrorism, cheating and sex.”
The report added that the crackdown will mostly be targeting accounts that send information with the ability to “communicate (widely) and mobilize society.” Gee, do ya think any of this is related to the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests?
This is not the first of China’s WeChat crackdowns: Last September, China’s supreme court announced that any so-called online rumor ‘clicked and viewed more than 5000 times, or reposted 500 times’ could result in up to three years in jail for the original author. Last March, dozens of popular WeChat accounts (some with hundreds of thousands of followers) were shut down with another crack of the censorship whip. Just one week prior to that, three people were arrested in Chengdu for sending messages over WeChat in regards to bird-flu related deaths in the Sichuan capital.
What will those censors do next? Take away WeChat’s awesome Avengers emojis?
[Image via crackberry.com]