No ‘Negative’ News: How China Censored the Coronavirus
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese officials were accused of hiding information about the infectious virus that could have benefitted other nations. However, the issue of relaying information and censorship in China regarding the coronavirus is much deeper than this initial incident, according to Chinese sources. Li Wenliang, a doctor and coronavirus whistleblower, suddenly died after being threatened by the police and accused of sharing misinformation. Dr. Li’s death and the Chinese government’s efforts to suppress his knowledge lead many to believe that China was deliberately hiding important information about the virus and its spread.
The measures the Chinese government took to eradicate the initial buzz about the new virus was extreme. They ordered social media platforms to remove his name from pages, activated fake online commenters to flood social media with information on other events, and demanded that news outlets refrain from alerting readers of his death. These orders are just a few of thousands of secret government directives surrounding the coronavirus and the Chinese government’s campaign of censorship.