Not sure how much you've heard, but the past month has been rather unsettling here in China.
A lot have happened - tragic social incidents were exposed (like the Hangzhou nanny arson case and the Ping Pong player protest for example), new regulations and polices came out (the ban on celebrity news and entertainment account, the ban of homosexuality display, the shutdown of Chinese VPNs), the people were shocked, yet before everyone had the time to figure out why and how , things were censored and erased.
As two young Chinese with profound faith in the country's social change, the two of us at Elephant Room felt worried, saddened and confused. We couldn't just sit here pretending we didn't see a thing, yet with such mounting censorship over information and media, we also doubt whether we could really see truths and, more fundamentally, if truths still held a place in this society.
We thought, though, there's at least one thing we could do - to honestly record discussions and emotions on the Chinese Internet. The two of us took sometime to browse through Weibo, the one public social media channel that people's voices could still be heard. Perhaps what we managed to capture are nothing more than the remanent of censorship, but if no one's capturing these voices, then what's left?
We tried our best to translate these comments into English while keeping them fully genuine. Some details might get lost in translation, but the sentiments and spirits would poke through.
Thank you for tuning in and please, talk to us if you had any questions or just want to connect. We'd always be here.
Biyi and Yan.
The evening before June forth, Weibo began to prohibit oversea users from uploading photos and videos in both new posts and comments. The official explanation was "system update"- some got very confused, some - the ones that knew - knew it wasn't the case.
Two celebrities, one based in Taiwan and one in the U.S, asking about why they couldn't post photos on Weibo:
Here are some of the followers' responses:
Of course, there were also voices like this:
That particular day (June 4th) rolled over quickly. Yet other things happened too (the Pingpong coach incident, the Hangzhou nanny fire etc. until the end of month of which the government banned all VPNs in Chinese app stores), people reacted and protested despite the tightened censorship online.
In support of the the former Pingpong national team's coach Liu Guoliang, who were forced down from his position:
The Hangzhou nanny arson case further triggered public rage:
At the end of June, the government cracked down all the VPNs that were available in the Chinese app stores. The hole that helped people to see the outside world is now officially closed.
Also in the end of June, the officials came out with a set of policies that ban LGBTQ contents from The Chinese Internet:
"People nowadays think too much.
Why complain when you are so already so well fed?
Isn't it nice to just live a peaceful, quiet life?"
(Photo credit to the Internet)