As the Chinese government responds to the coronavirus epidemic, it’s also worked to ascendancy what advice on the virus is available. Since the alpha of January, WeChat — China’s most accepted messaging belvedere — has been censoring keywords apropos to the recent coronavirus beginning .

This is according to Citizen Lab, a analysis group based in Toronto, who scripted group chat conversations and sent them to three test WeChat accounts — two based in Canada, and the other in China. The scripted letters included news account and accessories about the virus. Researchers found in January, 132 keyword combinations were censored, but, by February, this had accomplished 516. 


An article appear bygone by Citizen Lab abundant that the censored agreeable included criticism of the Chinese government, rumors and abstract advice on the epidemic, aloof references to Chinese government’s efforts on administration the outbreak, and references to Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who was among the ancient to try and warn the public about the virus. He  died in February after application it while alleviative patients.

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Researchers at Citizen Lab found 19 censored keyword combinations that referenced Dr. Li Wenliang, such as  “Epidemic Virus Li Wenliang Central government” and “Coronavirus People-to-people manual Li Wenliang.”

In accession to WeChat, the report also found that the accepted Chinese livestreaming app YY was discovered  to be censoring keywords and vital advice accompanying to the the COVID-19 outbreak. This had been accident since December 31st, 2019 — the day after doctors tried to warn the public about the virus. 

In a account to Buzzfeed, a Tencent agent said: “We have rolled out a array of tools and appearance on the belvedere to help users stay safe and assure themselves adjoin the advancing Coronavirus epidemic. Importantly, this includes debunking false rumors.”

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