Rumors, Gossip Targets of WeChat Censorship: Citizen Lab Report

Widespread censorship persists amid ongoing anti-rumor campaign
Thu, 2018-08-30 09:00

Chinese censorship goes beyond topics like government criticism and rights advocacy to include suppression of rumors and gossip, a new Citizen Lab report finds.

The study, led by Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) fellow Jason Q. Ng, examines how Chinese authorities censor content on leading mobile chat app WeChat.

Citizen Lab researchers collected and analyzed more than 36,000 WeChat public posts from over 10,000 accounts, looking for content removed by Chinese authorities in order to better understand what types of content are targeted for takedown in China. Ng places the authorities’ emphasis on seemingly innocuous misinformation within the broader context of China’s ongoing ‘anti-rumor campaign,’ which has escalated in recent years.

Check out the full Citizen Lab report.

Coverage from Wall Street JournalReutersTechWeb (Chinese).