During 2021, the Chinese Communist regime’s internet watchdog shut down or suspended more than 20,000 influential social network accounts. Some of them for alleged “misuse” and many others for not promoting “fundamental socialist” values.

The main people affected by the censorship measures are journalists and individuals who, due to the large number of followers on their networks, are considered “influential”.

The regime’s Internet regulator has a dark history of censoring political dissidents and journalists, responding to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts to have absolute control over all online content.

As reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), more than 20,000 accounts of influential users were blocked or deleted this year.

One of the influential people who had his social media account closed is Luo Changping, a well-known investigative journalist who used the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, similar to Twitter, to denounce a high-ranking CCP economic official in 2012.

He already earned the CCP’s enmity back then, which ended up sinking in when he publicly criticized China’s role in the Korean War and its portrayal in a blockbuster movie on social media this year. 

As a result, not only were all of Luo Changping’s social networks deleted, but he was also arrested on charges of “belittling martyrs,” The Hill reported.

Another case that aroused curiosity was that suffered by two popular Chinese TV stars, Zhu Chenhui, known as Xueli Cherie on the Internet, and Lin Shanshan. Both were accused of tax evasion and although their activity on the networks only consisted of marketing textile clothing and cosmetics, the Internet regulator ruled that they should be removed from Chinese networks.

As is well known, the regime’s censorship is not only in the networks. Recently and brazenly, communist legislators in Hong Kong passed a bill in October aimed at tightening the film censorship law.

Under the new regulations, penalties of up to three years and thousands of dollars in fines will be implemented for those responsible for reproductions that advocate “subversion, secession and terrorism.”

The controversial bill would also intervene in past film productions, which could threaten several classics of Western and Asian cinema, which would disappear from theaters and movie rentals.

The legislation was raised in the context of the controversial National Security Law imposed by the Chinese regime last year to crack down on protests by pro-democracy and anti-CCP movements in the face of growing censorship.

The increasingly tough stance on censorship on the Internet and other media such as film comes as Beijing tries to project a positive image to the world ahead of the Winter Olympics it will host in February 2022.

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