Social media users in China who noticed censors had deleted articles and messages that criticized communist China’s handling of the coronavirus recreated messages in Morse code, but they were still deleted.
Communist China has come under heavy criticism after authorities in Wuhan arrested whistle-blowers who sought to warn the public about the spread of the coronavirus, which has given way to rumors that the cover-up fueled the pandemic.
One deleted article about the ugly situation in Wuhan that caused an outcry was written out again and re-posted by dozens of social media users in over 10 languages in a bit to test out the severity of the censorship.
Some posted it in Morse code, ancient Chinese script, and even Klingon—the widely known fictional language used in the Star Trek universe—to see what the government would do.
But all the messages, despite every language it was written in, was deleted.
The Chinese authorities have also cracked down on citizen-journalists who have reported on the pandemic’s catastrophic effects.
China expelled 13 US journalists working for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal in February, all of whom were among foreign outlets reporting extensively on the coronavirus in communist China. Beijing said the move was in retaliation for new restrictions on the number of Chinese nationals who can work for its state-sponsored propaganda outlets on US soil.
But these expulsions have prompted backlash, with organizations and the three newspapers warning that the action prohibits access to critical information about the pandemic. Communist China has always had a stranglehold on what little freedom of expression the country allows its citizens, but the grip has become even more suffocating under Xi.
On Thursday, Beijing downgraded its level of emergency response to the virus from first to second tier, but temperature checks and social distancing still remain mandatory under the loosening of restrictions.
On Friday, communist China reported 12 new cases of the virus, six of them brought from overseas, and no new fatalities for the 16th day. It has reported a total of 4,633 deaths from the contagion among 83,000 cases, mostly occurring within the central part of Wuhan.
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