China Censored Photo of Athletes: Tiananmen Massacre Reference

  • 9 months ago
China Censored Photo of Athletes: Tiananmen Massacre Reference?
China appears to have censored a photograph of two Chinese hurdlers embracing after a race because their lane numbers formed an accidental reference to the Tiananmen massacre in 1989.
The image captures Lin Yuwei, from lane 6, and Wu Yanni, in lane 4, hugging following the women’s 100-meter hurdles final at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
That day Chinese military tanks rolled into the capital Beijing during a bloody crackdown to clear students protesting for democracy in Tiananmen Square.
Beijing tightly controls references to the event, scrubbing all mention of it from the internet within China, and moving quickly to erase any reference to it on social media, including even seemingly innocuous moments when the numbers 6, 4, and 89 appear together and are entirely unrelated to Tiananmen.
The race took place on October 1, China’s National Day, a delicate occasion when the authorities are more vigilant against any signs of dissent that may distract from celebrations.
State broadcaster CCTV originally posted the photograph on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media service, on Sunday night, but removed it from its account about an hour later.
China imposes stringent censorship not just on criticism of the Communist Party but also matters it deems sensitive and incongruous with the party’s values and ideology.
The rules have in the past led to the censorship of what might appear to some to be innocuous images, such as women’s cleavage and men modeling in lingerie as a gimmick on social media to boost sales.

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