If you control public communication you can control the way people think and how they behave. That’s what Xi Jinping’s government is counting on.
And it is never more true than at the time of major political gatherings.
The Communist Party Congress, held every five years, is set to begin next week: an event which will culminate in the revelation of the new leadership team behind General Secretary Xi.
So the censors here are poised to restrict with one hand and disseminate with the other.
What they’re looking out for are key words and expressions popping up in social media. Anything signalling an intention to protest or ridiculing the country’s senior political figures will be blocked and potentially see a user reported to the authorities.
For example, a message featuring the name of this country’s ever-more powerful leader and his sometimes-used nickname «Winnie the Pooh» (小熊维尼) will simply not go through to group discussions on the messaging app WeChat.
Funny stickers featuring Mr Xi or previous Chinese leaders also can’t be sent to chat groups.