After weeks of flying rumors on the internet, China’s authorities moved in to curtail stories on disposed leader Bo Xilai and even about a coup d’etat. Internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn guides us in The Guardian through the political minefield.
“The underlying problem is that you can’t get the truth out of the government, so you might as well believe stuff flying around on the internet,” agreed Jeremy Goldkorn, who runs the Danwei website on Chinese media. “But what this does is remind everyone who is in charge … Sina and Tencent are going to be pretty cautious and I think will be stepping up censorship: this is a shot across the bows.”
Some have asked why rumours about senior political leaders – particularly Bo – have circulated for so long recently, given that censors are usually quick to delete such speculation.
“I do get the sense that some things have been tolerated that perhaps in other times would not be. Certainly, it seems it’s been allowed that enough has been circulated about Bo Xilai to blacken his name,” said Goldkorn.
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