When it comes to censorship and China, by now most of us probably shouldn’t be surprised at the country’s practices. In the past, they have censored various words or phrases on social media platforms that might be deemed as being negative towards the government, and now it looks like they’re doing the same with the coronavirus.
According to a report from The Citizen Lab, they have discovered that WeChat seems to be censoring messages that are related to the coronavirus. This includes messages that might be viewed as critical towards the government, as well as neutral messages that are simply informative.
It also seems to censor messages that make reference to Dr. Li Wenliang (the Chinese doctor that tried to warn about the virus during the early stages), as well as messages related to how the Chinese government is handling the situation. As you can see in the image above, it shows screenshots of how messages are being sent through WeChat, but do not get delivered to the recipient.
That being said, it’s not surprising that WeChat is censoring these messages. After all, they are a Chinese company and is one of China’s largest messaging platforms, so naturally they do need to comply with Chinese government regulations. It is unclear if these censored messages only apply to those who are using the app in China, or if it applies to all WeChat users around the world.