90 Miles From Tyranny : How Using ‘Wrong’ Words in Calls and Messages Could Trigger Punishment in China

Saturday, January 18, 2020

How Using ‘Wrong’ Words in Calls and Messages Could Trigger Punishment in China



In the United States and other parts of the world where freedom of speech is highly valued and emphasized, people usually do not have to worry that voicing their opinions about the government or its policies could lead to punishment. However, this is not the case for people in China.

For years, the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat has been making headlines for censoring its users’ content and sharing it with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Those who were found guilty of spreading messages deemed “sensitive” by the regime might have to face imprisonment.

For instance, Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che was arrested in 2017 when he arrived in China. He was later convicted of “subversion” after being found “guilty” of sending pro-democracy messages to others through WeChat and other messaging platforms.

“There is simply no privacy in China. Social media, calls and messages on mobile phones are all under surveillance,” said a former employee of China Mobile Online Services Company to Bitter Winter, a magazine on religious liberty and human rights in China. The company is a subsidiary of China Mobile Limited, the state-owned and largest telecommunications service provider in China.

The former employee, who requested to remain anonymous, was one of the at least 500 staff members tasked with monitoring calls and messages. He went on to reveal how the Chinese regime has been controlling its citizens.

“If one says anything deemed unfavorable to the CCP, he or she will be punished. Every person is monitored and controlled under the pretext ‘to crack down on harassment,’” he disclosed.
Sensitive Words

The man told the magazine that words like “Almighty God” and “Falun Gong” were classified as “sensitive.” Even phrases that indicated withdrawal of membership from the Communist Party and its affiliated organization, the Communist Youth League, are monitored closely.

He added that “immediate measures will be taken to intercept messages that mention the CCP’s organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners to prevent leaks.”

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is an ancient spiritual discipline based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, and consists of five sets of peaceful exercises. Introduced in China in 1992, the practice spread by word of mouth as people benefited both physically and morally. However, in 1999, a massive campaign of suppression was launched after the regime saw at least 70 million to 100 million of its citizens—more than the CCP’s membership—take up Falun Gong.

After the persecution started, numerous Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and detained in prison, labor camps, and brainwashing centers where they were repeatedly tortured. In recent years, media outlets worldwide have reported that the Chinese regime has been harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, with the majority being from...

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1 comment:

  1. That isn't true. I suspect my social security check has been stopped because of what I write. As well, the V.A. And blogger give me problems when I don't write multiculti praises, or generally stomp on feelings because they are not important as regards facts. Even the state of Utah and the Catholic church keep track. So, yes, we are very much on a social credit system, it just isn't as public. Essentially I have been shadow banned by social security admin. And probably am by google. Public and private.

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