onsdag 4. mars 2020

Coronavirus: Chinese app WeChat censored virus content since 1 Jan

China's most popular messaging app has been censoring key words about the coronavirus outbreak from as early as 1 January, a report has found. Toronto-based research group Citizen Lab found that WeChat blocked combinations of keywords and criticism of President Xi Jinping. The report also found that WeChat, owned by Chinese firm Tencent, blocked more words as the outbreak grew.

China has for years censored what its people read and say online. But this report suggests China began censoring discussions weeks before officials began acknowledging the severity of the outbreak. It was on 31 December that China first alerted the World Health Organization to an outbreak of a new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan. But authorities initially withheld information from the public - under-reporting the number of people infected, downplaying the risks, and failing to provide timely information that could have saved lives.