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  • My purpose is to make sure that all of this information is not lost or deleted.

  • (Speaking Chinese) We don't know what information and when the authorities will censor, so we are trying to be faster then the authorities.

  • (Speaking Chinese) We should preserve the individual memories and our collective memories.

  • Voices like these from Chinese citizens are very rare.

  • People who are willing to speak out about the government's attempts to control news about the deadly coronavirus.

  • They asked to remain anonymous, because what they're doing could put them and their families at great risk.

  • But these people are part of a new wave of Chinese citizens, fighting to get the message out in a country that aggressively censors information.

  • We have the right to speak, and we also have the right to save those words.

  • Accounts or messages like these calling for free speech are quickly scrubbed from the internet.

  • Or videos like this, showing people frustrated about life under lockdown.

  • (Chinese) Help! Somebody please come!

  • Posted online one day, but gone the next.

  • But the crisis over the coronavirus is changing the landscape, for now at least.

  • Everyday citizens are preserving and reposting information the government doesn't want out there.

  • (Speaking Chinese) I don't want... Take away those who lie on the ground.

  • I started to collect hundreds and hundreds of screenshots.

  • And then as the outbreak got really bad, I thought it would be important to keep these or to collect and systematically archive this information.

  • Experts say this kind of digital resistance is happening at a scale they've never seen before.

  • At the beginning, I was just doing this on my own.

  • And now, it's about a hundred of us, and we're translating news articles and social media posts that are constantly being deleted right now.

  • Social media networks like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are blocked in China.

  • But internet savvy people use techniques that allow them to repost censored content to these platforms, while staying under the radar of authorities.

  • They're creating a visual archive by preserving videos like this one, showing overwhelmed hospitals.

  • And they're reposting people's personal stories.

  • (Speaking Chinese) Nobody cares about our lives, ordinary people's lives.

  • (Speaking Chinese) You can't get medicine, even if you are rich.

  • (Speaking Chinese) You can't get a hospital bed, even if you have money.

  • Some are also turning to less obvious platforms, including GitHub, which is a site mostly used by coders.

  • (Speaking Chinese) Many volunteer groups put their archives on GitHub.

  • (Speaking Chinese) Other groups are sharing screenshots of censored posts from WeChat and Weibo on Telegram channels.

  • Another taboo Chinese citizens are pushing back on?

  • They're making open and widespread calls for freedom of speech.

  • These were triggered by the death of Dr. Li Wenliang.

  • He was an early whistleblower who warned about the virus, and was punished by officials for speaking out.

  • He died in early February from the coronavirus.

  • Right after his death, the hashtag "I want freedom of speech" started to trend on Weibo, a Chinese social media site.

  • Then, it was quickly censored by the government.

  • (Speaking Chinese) On the night of Le Wenliang's death, it seemed like everyone on Weibo suddenly realized that freedom of speech is important and that we want to speak.

  • The censorship that followed just further kind of galvanized us, and made us feel that...

  • really the government prioritizes censorship and suppressing free speech rather than acknowledging that they've made a mistake in arresting him.

  • Dr. Li's become an icon in the online fight for freedom of speech between censors and citizens.

  • So, who's winning?

  • For now, citizens are staying a step ahead of the authorities.

  • But a renewed government crackdown could test the strength of this digital resistance.

My purpose is to make sure that all of this information is not lost or deleted.

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B1 US TOEIC TheNewYorkTimes speaking chinese chinese speaking speech

China Is Censoring Coronavirus Stories. These Citizens Are Fighting Back. | NYT News

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    Estelle posted on 2020/03/04
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