Teams at Harvard have been using new software to watch how the Chinese censors social media sites and have found that it is not as all encompassing as people thought.
According to the Economist, while it had been believed that huge numbers of social media posts had been censored the figure is lower and more specific than people thought.
The team of researchers at Harvard found that only 13 percent of social media posts on “dangerious subjects” were censored.
Gary King, a professor in the university’s government department and the report’s lead author looked at activity surrounding 85 sensitive topics, ranging from last year’s protests in Inner Mongolia to Ai Weiwei.
What is surprising is that these posts are appearing at all given the perception that you get a knock on the door from Inspector Knacker if you even mention protests.
Posts critical of the government were not rigorously censored, unless they have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.
King said that the government did not care how it looked, but wanted to stop people from gathering.
So far the teams have been focused on looking back on data regarding past events and think they can track the censors operations as events unfold.