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China bans George Orwell’s 'Animal Farm,' the letter ‘N’

  • Published at 06:01 pm March 5th, 2018
  • Last updated at 06:50 pm March 5th, 2018
China bans George Orwell’s 'Animal Farm,' the letter ‘N’
The Chinese government has banned the letter "N" and George Orwell's Animal Farm in a major online censorship clampdown. According to The Guardian, the Communist party has painted the move as an expression of overwhelming popular support for China’s strongman leader. Experts say this paves the way for Xi Jinping "to become a dictator for life." There has been widespread online push-back in China since the ban was announced on February 25 -- the same as the annual political congress in Beijing. The China Digital Times, a California-based site covering China, reports a list of terms excised from Chinese websites by government censors includes the letter "N," Orwell's novels Animal Farm and 1984, and the phrase "Xi Zedong." The latter is a combination of President Xi and former chairman Mao Zedong's names. It is speculated that the letter "N" may either be used or interpreted as a sign of dissent. The Independent reports search terms blocked on Sino Weibo, a microblogging site which is China’s equivalent of Twitter, include “disagree,” “personality cult,” “lifelong,” “immortality,” “emigrate,” and “shameless.” This censorship is fortified by the Great Firewall of China - a term which refers to the combined force of technological and legislative measures which tightly control the internet on the mainland.