It’s a fact of life for many Chinese that social media and messaging platforms perform silent content takedowns via regular keyword filtering and more recently, image matching. In June 2013, Citizen Lab documented a list of words censored from social media related to the anniversary of the protests, which included words like “today” and “tomorrow.”
Relatively little news gets out of Xinjiang to the rest of the world, and China wants to keep it that way— journalists are denied visas, their relatives are detained, and journalists on the ground are arrested. Any work by groups that help shed light on the situation is extremely valuable. Earlier this year, we wrote about the amazing work by Humans Rights Watch, Amnesty International, other human rights groups, and other independent researchers and journalists in helping uncover the inner workings of China’s surveillance state.