China WhatsApp crackdown only scratches surface of worsening internet censorship

Hong Kong( CNN) As Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate, lay succumbing in a heavily-guarded hospital last month, there was little mention of his fate in China.

On Weibo, China’s most popular Twitter-like platform, users were prevented from posting messages with the words “Nobel, ” “liver cancer, ” “RIP” or the candle emoji, according to researchers at Toronto’s Citizen Lab and Hong Kong’s Weiboscope.

Censorship was also widespread on messaging app WeChat, which was once less filtered than Weibo because of its more private nature. Citizen Lab detected that even in one-on-one chats, mentions of Liu Xiaobo’s name and photos of him were deleted when chatting with Chinese users.

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