A recent pro-democracy demonstration in Beijing, where a protester hung banners on a bridge in the capital city, which targeted the current ruling party and President Xi Jinping, has been removed from Chinese social media and online services in general ahead of the Communist Party Congress on Saturday.
banners on an overpass in Beijing featured signs urging for Coronavirus restrictions to be lifted. "Say no to Covid test, yes to food. No to lockdown, yes to freedom," one banner said. Another directly calls out the president, declaring, "Go on strike, remove the dictator and national traitor Xi Jinping."
Any content that includes the terms "Beijing," "bridge," and "brave" cannot be searched from on Weibo, and Apple Music''s Chinese version has removed a song titled "Sitong Bridge," as it is the location where the protest erupted.
Users of WeChat have remained in a different hazard, as they discovered that their accounts have been banned for sharing a variety of images, such as ones in the tweet below. These have been listed as permanent restrictions, without any need to be lifted.
Users are urging for the prohibitions to be lifted on Weibo. Content including: "I lost my control, and sent sensitive statements in a group chat..." and "I will not let down the party and the county." The majority of messages have been shared with a hashtag for Tencent Customer Service.
This is not the first time that Chinese users of internet services have experienced strict censorship on topics that the ruling party disagrees with, with Microsoft and Google having features removed when it''s relevant to previous events, particularly during the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square in 1989. It also goes to demonstrate how Chinese authorities take to avoid mentions of peaceful protests against the ruling party.
Tencent has refused to comment on this issue, and at the moment, there has been no recorded number of users who have been barred from participating in the demonstration.