A new report from the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs reveals how discussions about a nationwide government crackdown on rights lawyers and activists in China are censored on WeChat and Weibo, two of the leading social networks in China.

Dubbed the “709 Crackdown” as the first enforced disappearances of targeted individuals took place on July 9, 2015, the clampdown has affected over 250 Chinese rights lawyers, law firm staff, activists and their relatives. Citizen Lab researchers tested words from news articles from popular news websites and discovered 44 keywords related to the 709 Crackdown were blocked on WeChat. These keywords were also found filtered on the search function of Weibo. The majority of these keywords include references to the names of individuals targeted by the crackdown.

Read the full report.
Read the press release.
Read blog post from Citizen Lab Director Ron Deibert.

Follow this report in the news:

U of T researchers uncover extent of China’s censorship on 709 crackdown (Globe and Mail)

China’s WeChat censoring ‘sensitive’ photos, not just text, study shows (South China Morning Post)

What happens when you try to send politically sensitive messages on WeChat (Quartz)

China’s internet censors allow one-on-one complaining, but won’t let you gripe in group chat (The Verge)

April 13, 2017