China's internet censors don't like the smell of "Jasmine"

China's state Internet censors have ratcheted up web filters, and security officers are harassing and detaining bloggers and activists as an online appeal for a "Jasmine Revolution" spreads in China.
jasmine.jpg The apparent crackdown came in advance of two top legislative meetings, the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, scheduled for March.

Censors blocked the word "jasmine" after overseas dissident-run news website Boxun and Chinese Twitter users broadcast calls on February 19 to mobilize street protests modeled on recent unrest in the Middle East, according to international news reports. (Twitter is generally blocked in China but accessible to users of proxy networks based overseas.) Only a handful of protesters appeared, although calls continued for government protests characterized as "strolls" to continue every Sunday around China, according to The Associated Press.

China detains, censors bloggers on 'Jasmine Revolution' (Committee to Protect Journalists)


  1. China already has a history of violently squashing protest, and successfully covering it up, even online. But covering up an event as it happens is very, very different than covering up a historical event.

    I very much doubt protests would go as well in China as they did in Egypt. But I wish them the best of luck.

    1. Sadly that tank photo just isn’t as iconic in the PRC as it is abroad. Show it to people in China and they give you a blank look and wonder where it happened. LEGO is safe from the Great Firewall — that scene has zero resonance as it’s been blocked and ignored out of their history.

  2. The truth is nobody showed up for the protest called by overseas Falun Gong group.

    The call to pick up trash in the manifesto is a dead give-away. The only other time clean up after a mass incident was called for was during the 1999 Falun Gong protest.

  3. If you’re going to be naming revolutions according to color, it seems only right that China’s revolution should be called the “Jade Revolution,” IMO.

  4. If the Firewall is blocking protest-related words, why is nobody protesting under commonly used Chinese words? It would be a great way to throw a wrench in the works.

  5. The censors’ job would be made much easier if they just outright banned the internet, and in its place websites that contain only state-approved media, with the Chinese public not having any option to run their own websites/content things (not even state-monitored forums, because people *could* post dangerous materials for a few moments even then). Because then nobody can read anything “dangerous to the state,” and “state-approved order maintained.”

    Or the Chinese public could rebel (and yes, the entire ~1 billion person population, not just some of it), and take down their stupid-as-fuck authoritarian has-to-get-in-everyone’s-business nannies, and just go with plain old pure democratic (“people power,” not like the pseudodemocracy, or authoritarian state with a democratic veneer, in the USA), anarchic (no more central state, of any kind; individuals govern themselves, and their local area), and of course communist (because smart people don’t need any economy… they just get things done, and cooperate, and smack stupid people back into shape if they don’t play nice), along with education all around (because without that… nothing works). It’s my opinion that China is about the only country right now that could have a democratic communistic anarchy and have it actually work; few other countries right now have a populace ready for it. The USA, and many other Western countries, have a very long way to go before such a society could sustainably function, though maybe a few states of the union could secede and switch to a DCAWE (Democratic Communist Anarchy With Education).

    I do foresee Egypt getting to a DCAWE, though, and in a certain sense they’re already there, they just need more of the education part.

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