The People’s Republic of China has maintained its policy of refusing to label Russia’s military activities in Ukraine as an “invasion” or criticize Moscow. Still, its citizens have taken to social media to share their views on the conflict.
Over the last few days, subjects relating to Ukraine have risen to the top of the most popular trending hashtags on Weibo, China’s social media platform that serves as a barometer for public debate on the country’s internet. Meanwhile, in the days after Russia invaded the nation, Chinese social media companies have begun to crack down on “inappropriate” and “misleading” content about Ukraine on their platforms.
More than 4,000 messages on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, were taken down because they “provoked conflict, made light of the battle, or promoted obscene information,” according to a corporate release issued over the weekend. More than 3,500 videos were banned from Douyin, the Chinese counterpart of TikTok because they included “vulgarity, material that trivialized the conflict, inflammatory information, and negative comments.”
Numerous posters appeared on Weibo, pleading with “Ukraine’s lovely ladies” to visit the Chinese mainland. It was discovered that some WeChat users had created bogus material that claimed that fighting in Ukraine may help one “get course credit.” This was revealed in a WeChat alert. Hundreds of click-bait articles on Douyin misled users into believing that putting in the word “Ukraine” would have “explosive impacts” on the short-video app.
Other users have voiced their opposition to such trivializing information, demanding more empathy for the Ukrainian conflict.
“Peace is not something that comes easily. The statement from WeChat said that “we must respect and appreciate human life.” To maintain an impartial and sensible attitude toward hot-button global topics, be reasonable while engaging in debates, and collectively preserve a clean and bright cyber environment, we urge all internet users to do the following.