How China’s “harmonizing” of the Internet works

She will harmonize your ass.

She will harmonize your ass.


LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — The Huffington Post media mavens did this hilarious mashup of Donald Trump saying the word “China” over and over again. He really seems to be obsessed with it.

CHI-NA! It’s HUUUGGE!

Anyway, I thought I’d share the video with friends in China. So I grabbed the video off YouTube and uploaded it to Youku.com, China’s homegrown version of YouTube. The upload was successful, but it was not made public. Here’s the message that comes up on my user page.

Has been shielded, according to the provisions of audio-visual management
已屏蔽,根据视听管理规定处理

Putting it more bluntly, “Your video was too political and we nuked it.”

In China, this is euphemistically called “being harmonized,” a reference to the previous president’s deeply held wish that Chinese people live in a “harmonious society.” Or, in other words, in a society where people don’t make waves.

My timing was probably off, as the current leadership prepares for a gala celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Japanese Occupation. China’s net nannies typically go into full swing before any major national event, including holidays and anniversaries they’d prefer to forget, like the June 4, 1989, suppression of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

VPNs are also being suppressed leading up to the celebration, so that may limit my access to Facebook and Twitter once I return to China on Wednesday.

The collapse of the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock markets, and the violent industrial explosion in Tianjin have also kept the censors busy “harmonizing” the Internet to keep discussions of these events to a minimum.

Here’s the video that led to my harmonizing.

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