Target: President Xi Jinping
Goal: Halt censorship of online personalities
With China’s microbloggers amassing followers in the millions and over half of the country’s population having access to the internet, the government is silencing those whose critiques and views don’t line up with the nation’s communist views. These online personalities are not government officials, they are journalists, pop singers, lawyers and well off businessmen, people who have a lot of power and influence and are critical of their nation.
Anyone who the Chinese government deems too western or harbors Democratic views is immediately silenced. Websites and microbloggers are suspended for a period of time without any notice or reason to the owner. They are left to guess at what they did wrong and this has greatly upset the online community. The government’s heavy-handed censorship-sparked meetings between online personalities and the state media accuses these people of undermining the nation’s system and its policies. In retaliation, the online community criticized its policies and pointed out the social injustices of the country, specifically targeting their freedom of speech rights.
At one meeting in Beijing, popular microbloggers were forced to follow seven standards: obey the law, advocate for the socialist system, protect national interests, uphold individual rights, keep social order, respect morals, and ensure factuality. This completely violates the blogger’s rights to freedom of speech.
It is speculated that the Communist government is cracking down on the internet because it is has become difficult to control public opinion. To combat the ‘misinformation’ that many bloggers partake in, the nation launched a website called py.qianlong.com, where it refutes rumors spread by the online community. Other news media that are Nation run are collaborating to make a national microblogging team, which will help guide public opinion.
Independent microbloggers called this move foul and others claim that the news media will not have followers because they are spreading propaganda. The Chinese government stomps on the freedom of speech and it should not be tolerated. The people should express themselves without government interference. Sign this petition and urge the new Chinese president to halt censorship.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
I believe that all people in your country should have the right to freedom of speech, and this same right should be extended to the internet, not just in the real world. It should allow your citizens to believe what they wish and spread their ideas in a safe environment. However, your nation is silencing those who are expressing their opinions, specifically targeting those who express views that differ from your nation’s socialist stance and those who have massive followings.
It is unfair to silence someone who is different and are peacefully expressing their difference. It is also unfair to silence those who critique the government and point out social injustices. This is healthy for the nation because it helps the country grow and prosper as it fixes problems and allows the citizens to become aware of their country’s operations.
I am writing to ask you to stop censoring your people. They have a right to say what they wish and critique whomever they like. These online personalities wish to inform the public and are doing so in a way that is nonviolent. It’s ridiculous that nation-run news agencies are trying to fight back against these bloggers; both parties should be committed to informing the public and that means going about it in different angles. By suspending websites and microblogs you are crippling your people and spreading fear. Allow these websites to operate freely and give the bloggers their rights to freedom of speech.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Eric Drooker via Drooker.com