Chinese Social Media Censors 'Winnie The Pooh'
Comments on Chinese social media platform Weibo are being censored for including 'Winnie the pooh' in Chinese as users report of getting an error message 'comment failed' when trying to post the characters. Others report of WeChat stickers featuring the famous bear being deleted from the popular messaging application.
Although searching for posts of the bear on Weibo returns some hits, commenters on the posts are having to resort to placing characters or symbols between the characters 维尼熊 (Winnie the pooh) in order to get round the censoring.
No it's not because his honey hoarding habits don't fit in with communist ideals... Netizens have previously compared the Chinese President, Xi Jinping with the famous Disney character, remarking how much they look alike. The posts first started with a picture of US president Obama and President Xi walking together that users posted with a similar looking picture of Winnie and tigger. Soon after various other images comparing the two surfaced on the internet and a meme was created.
The Chinese government doesn't seem to share the same sense of humour however and such images have been censored from Chinese search engines such as Baidu and Bing.cn. It's unclear if posts of Winnie and President Xi together have previously been censored on Weibo, however users have reported their comments 'failing' since this weekend.
The move to increase censoring on such posts is most likely due to the upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist party which will be held this autumn. The event is held once every five years and anything seen as giving a negative view of their leader will generally be blocked from various sites in the country.