"Artillery fire lights up the sky and breaks my heart. I hope my compatriots in Ukraine are taking care of themselves and their families, "said a user on Weibo, often called China's Twitter, on February 27. The message was quickly blocked, according to Weibo by a service of Great Fire, which tracks Chinese censorship online.
Two days later, a very different message appeared on Weibo: “I support fighting! America and Taiwan have gone too far.” That, too, was blocked, according to Weibo.
The messages - disappear and come the platforms of Ukrainian social media Chinese in the crosshairs of the war-Russia. The platforms need to be sure to follow the line amid subtle changes in China's official stance. Their answers could be a first test of the new rules governing how companies use algorithms, which could make them responsible for trending and false arguments that appear on their sites.
Prior to the invasion, Chinese state media and officials' Twitter accounts repeated a drumming of US warmongering and wiped out the possibility of an invasion. Once the onslaught began, China found itself in the awkward position of having to reconcile its long-standing policy of non-interference and respect for national sovereignty with its ties to Russia. Indeed, a few weeks earlier, the two countries reaffirmed their relationship when Russian President Vladimir Putin was a VIP guest at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In the early days of the war, the Chinese state media seemed surprised and took a cautious approach. The relative blame coverage largely echoed the Russian media, calling the conflict a "special military operation" and adding the blame to the US and NATO.
Since then, social media companies seem more to walk a fine line, trying to cool down bellicose rhetoric without pushing the boundaries, particularly with criticism of Russia.
Over the weekend, China began casting itself as a mediator and calling for a peaceful resolution in public statements. Some official coverage became more sympathetic to Ukraine.
CGTN, China’s international TV station, has aired coverage of the destruction in Ukraine and the impact on civilians.
This political change of course also seems to be able to change the approach of Chinese social networks on what is happening in Ukraine and all messages previously deleted due to censorship could return to have a media value.
In short, the Chinese government, after evaluating the political consequences of the interruption of the relationship with Russia (Pro-war), is now freely allowing its people to express about it
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