What Weibo Wipes: A Collection of Censored Images

Serving the People. A howling wolf wearing three stylish watches.

Serving the People. A howling wolf wearing three stylish watches.

Sometime this last week a colleague shared a link to a very interesting collection of images erased from the Weibo microblogging website (“China’s Twitter”). The collection is being made by ProPublica and also includes some very interesting related articles about online censorship in China, such as “How to Get Censored on China’s Twitter.” I saved the link and didn’t really get a chance to look through it until last night. What an interesting collection it is—and most of the images have basic English translations which make them available to non-Chinese speakers. (I’m thinking it would be interesting for students to look at.)

Sure, there are all of the typical things that one might expect to see there—political protests, Tiananmen Square, Tibet, overt criticisms of the government, etc. The really interesting things, however, are the many puzzling images that don’t really seem to fit into preconceived categories such as comparing Bo Xilai to Yue Fei, the use of classic revolutionary imagery evoking “the people”, interesting reuse of propaganda posters for contemporary critique.

Here are just a few images that make for an interesting juxtaposition. There is a lot more here that I have had time to look through. I thought I’d save this link here on my blog so that I know where this interesting collection is when I want to use it later for a class exercise. The real action is over at ProPublica, however.

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