Chinese WeChat censor Coronavirus

The most popular messaging application in China WeChat, has been found to censor keywords about the Coronavirus, starting back in January.

The company is owned by Tencent, however this seems to play no part in the secretive goings on, in limiting the outbreak of the virus on the social networking site.

The research group Citizen Lab has been scripted messages and sent them through the messaging application, two of which in Canada and one in China.

These massages consisted of headlines and text, sent from Canada to China, in this example 516 keywords had been censored.

Despite the World Health Organisation being made aware of the virus a lot sooner than China had been able to in the past, some say it was still too late and the virus has already spread too far.

It is not clear at present as to why the companies would restrict users talking about the virus, however in the past this has been a government led decision.

WeChat has a user base of over one billion people, which seems low when compared to Whatsapp’s 1/4 of the global population.

The censorship is relating to factual information about the virus and references to the governments epidemic policies.

WeChat has close ties to the Chinese government, further adding to the conspiracy that the censorship is government led.

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