This image was banned on 2 QQ (Chinese) social media forums. This is a label from a carton of 30 Burnbrae large eggs, made in the USA. Photo 1 by Don Tai
I do not intend to be subversive on Chinese social media, nor very political. I also do stay away from sensitive issues on QQ, a Chinese social media messaging and forum site. This image ban, however, really took me by surprise. I teach some English on the Chinese forums, so I thought I’d show them a typical Canadian product label in English and French. I tried 3 times, and the QQ bot banned me all three times from posting to 2 separate QQ forums. Very odd.
As my Chinese teacher said to me in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square incident, history is fluid and can be rewritten. While he nor I believed this at the time, in China this is indeed true. With China’s sophisticated propaganda machine on full throttle, the perception of China, globally and domestically can be changed. This is how China works, and works very effectively.
TThere is no question that contributing on the web in China is fraught with a level of personal risk not seen in the West. Here, no one really cares what you write, provided it is not racist and does not defame anyone.
___In China, blogs and blog service providers get shut down on a regular basis. No explanations or warnings are given. This is what happened with a large Chinese blog provider Bulldog.cn last month. A blog that has run for one year is considered to be long lived. Search for the most popular blogs in China and you’ll find many that are posted on local blogrolls no longer exist. Here today, gone tomorrow. You’ll find previously vibrant URLS shuttered, all content gone, no comments allowed, no explanation given. It’s all very subtle.