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Illegal pictures that are banned on the internet in China

You won’t find these images in China
In China, not all images are allowed on the Internet. Images are censored and images that slightly resemble a prohibited image are also removed. We have listed for you the images that you will not see in China.

Tank Man

The iconic Tank Man photo depicts a demonstrator in Beijing who blocks the path of a line of tanks, simply by standing in front of them. China is making persisting efforts to censor this photo on the internet. In fact, pictures that even slightly resemble his famous picture are removed as well. Images of a row of books approaching a pack of cigarettes, a swan standing in front of a truck and a grasshopper standing in front of a large tire; they cannot be found on the Chinese internet.

The firewall

Behind the wall erected by the Chinese government, the bloodbath in Tiananmen Square never happened, the protests in Hong Kong are insignificant and Winnie the Pooh does not exist – you can read more about it at the next page. Due to all the censorship in Chinese media, the rules are being circumvented in different ways. Simple texts with keywords don’t stand a chance. On the contrary, images are used creatively. For example, news articles from banned websites like The New York Times are posted as reverse images on Weibo. It is a Twitter-like social media site, which is of course also banned in China.

Tightened censorship

In recent months, censorship has been tightened. This is due to the anniversary of the bloodbath on Tiananmen Square for example, which was exactly 30 years ago this June. For example, The Washington Post and The Guardian have been banned, along with ten other news websites. Other anniversaries that led to increased censorship include the deadly riots in Xinjiang in 2009 and the death of Liu Xiabao, a proponent of democracy, in 2017. The anniversaries are a major challenge for Chinese internet sensors, because “keeping the web clean” is not as easy as it sounds.

Jason Ng is an author who wrote Blocked on Weibo, and he notes that the government’s priority is with preventing group formation against the establishment. Still, he thinks it goes beyond simply censoring some protests. According to Jason Ng, it’s interesting to think about moral reasons for why things are removed.

Curious to find out what else has been banned? Continue reading on the next page.