Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Chinese bloggers have reacted with outrage to the new internet censorship campaign organized by Beijing. Yesterday, the Chinese government blocked the site YouTube without providing any explanations. The authorities have also blocked a form of ironic protest launched by internet users, mocking the recent campaign "against pornography" and the "immoral" sites present on the web.
According to the new guidelines published in forums, chat rooms, and other social networks, internet service providers must block the spread of a "mythical" creature, the grass-mud horse. It resembles an alpaca, one of the two species of camelid found throughout South America, which has become popular among Chinese internet users as a symbol of resistance against censorship by the regime. The name grass-mud horse - caonima, in Chinese - sounds like an epithet used to insult another person's mother. On the internet, on YouTube and other sites, a rap video is proliferating in which the cǎoníma must fight "against the invasion of river crabs" and free itself from the pressure imposed by government propaganda promoted by President Hu Jintao, who is calling for a "harmonious society." Through the use of music, animation, and a language that is by turns ironic, obscene, and irreverent, the creators denounce the abuses by the government and the repeated violations of human rights.
According to a statement released in recent days by the communications department of the city of Deyang, "all words referring to the 'caonima' must be removed from the internet." Chinese internet users are calling the new government censorship campaign "a new invasion of river crabs." Many others are comparing the Communist Party to the first Qin emperor [the despot Qin Shihuang], who unified China in 256 B.C.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government continues to block YouTube, a measure held to be "necessary" in order to prevent the spread of certain videos viewed unfavorably by the government. These include an incident that took place in the seas to the south of the country, between Chinese fishing boats and an American navy ship, and images of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetan monks. Today, an official statement came from Beijing, calling the video on the web "a lie."