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REVEALED: New York Times Asked Communist Chinese Tech Company To Censor Americans


BY: SHAWN FLEETWOOD | AUGUST 16, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/16/revealed-new-york-times-asked-communist-chinese-tech-company-to-censor-americans/

New York Times building

The New York Times asked TikTok, a social media app with known connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), to censor American users sharing election integrity concerns on its platform.

In a recent article titled, “On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms,” Times writer Tiffany Hsu details how “TikTok is shaping up to be a primary incubator of baseless and misleading information” ahead of the 2022 midterms, with the issue of voter fraud being a prominent topic shared across the platform. Buried within the article, however, Hsu tacitly reveals that as a result of the Times reaching out to the CCP-connected company, TikTok began censoring users from using a popular hashtag associated with fears about election interference.

“Baseless conspiracy theories about certain voter fraud in November are widely viewed on TikTok, which globally has more than a billion active users each month,” the article reads. “Users cannot search the #StopTheSteal hashtag, but #StopTheSteallll had accumulated nearly a million views until TikTok disabled the hashtag after being contacted by The New York Times.”

Hsu goes on to note the platform’s failure to address the spread of “misinformation” in foreign elections, citing those in France and Australia as examples.

“The app [also] struggled to tamp down on disinformation ahead of last week’s presidential election in Kenya,” Hsu wrote, referencing a report by Odanga Madung, a researcher for the Mozilla Foundation. “Mr. Madung cited a post on TikTok that included an altered image of one candidate holding a knife to his neck and wearing a blood-streaked shirt, with a caption that described him as a murderer. The post garnered more than half a million views before it was removed.”

As reported by Federalist Senior Contributor Helen Raleigh, TikTok “is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet company” and “collects an enormous amount of data on its users, including IP addresses, browsing history, and biometric information.” While ByteDance argues that American user data “is safe because it is stored on U.S. soil,” China’s national intelligence law mandates that “all Chinese tech companies must turn over any data they collect if the government demands it.”

“[A] recent BuzzFeed News report, based on leaked internal TikTok meetings, shows that ByteDance’s Chinese employees have repeatedly accessed nonpublic U.S. user data,” Raleigh said. “One employee of TikTok’s trust and safety department said in a September 2021 meeting that ‘Everything is seen in China.’”

The actions by the Times to push TikTok into censoring Americans isn’t the first time the news outlet has played footsy with the CCP. Late last year, the Times faced public backlash after purportedly downplaying the role Chinese leader Xi Jinping played in the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China.

“For unknown reasons, the New York Times appears to have intentionally withheld documents that directly linked top Chinese Communist Party officials, including General Secretary Xi Jinping, to the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region” wrote Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in a letter to New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger. “In those now-released ‘Top Secret’ transcripts — documents that the New York Times has allegedly had in its possession since at least 2019 — Xi explicitly authorized changing local counterterrorism laws, rounding up and sentencing Uyghurs, the use of forced sterilization, and the use of slave labor in Xinjiang.”

The paper has since denied such accusations, with Assistant Managing Editor for International Michael Slackman claiming Rubio was “simply wrong on the facts.” But a pattern seems to be emerging.


Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

Author Shawn Fleetwood profile

SHAWN FLEETWOOD

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Hong Kong Uses Covid Excuse to Extinguish Citizens’ Last Remaining Freedoms


REPORTED BY: SHAWN FLEETWOOD | JULY 13, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/13/hong-kong-uses-covid-excuse-to-extinguish-citizens-last-remaining-freedoms/

Hong Kongers testing for Covid

Using Covid as an excuse for more restrictions, the CCP and its lackeys in Hong Kong are hoping to further assimilate the city into the top-to-bottom-run system used in China.

Author Shawn Fleetwood profile

SHAWN FLEETWOOD

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In a bid to further cripple the freedom of their citizens, Hong Kong government officials are ramping up their response to Covid with a series of new draconian policy measures.

On Monday, the city’s Health Secretary Lo Chung-mau announced several new restrictions allegedly aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, including a mandate that requires positive Covid patients quarantined at home to “wear an electronic tracking bracelet.” Used earlier during the pandemic to keep tabs on new arrivals to the city, the revamped policy seeks to ensure that people who have tested positive for the respiratory virus do not leave their homes without government authorization.

Moreover, Lo also announced that the city will be updating its contact-tracing app, which will now include a requirement that citizens register by name when using the software. As Reuters reported, users were previously “not required to register with their personal details, and the app was used to enter venues and display vaccination records.”

Taking a page from the Chinese communist’s playbook, Hong Kong will also be implementing a traffic light color-code system, which aims to “restrict movement of infected residents and close contacts.” As Lo described, residents who test positive will receive a red code and “be barred from entering a list of premises, including ‘high-risk’ places such as hospitals and nursing homes,” while all people arriving to the city will automatically be flagged as yellow. Lo did not, however, explain what the codes “would entail specifically in terms of access to venues.”

“I’d like to say that we would make use of technology to put in place a precision strategy,” Lo said in response to concerns about the government’s invasion of privacy. “This is to reduce our cost in our fight against the epidemic and to maximize effectiveness.”

Covid is a Means to an End for the CCP

While officials such as Lo and newly sworn-in Chief Executive John Lee will cast the city’s draconian measures as an attempt to save lives, the arbitrary policies actually serve as a mechanism for the China-backed government to further suppress the liberties of the Hong Kong people. Since the enaction of a so-called national security law in June 2020 by the Chinese government in response to the citywide protests of 2019, Hong Kong authorities — with the backing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — have initiated a government crackdown on basic freedoms throughout the administrative region.

In addition to arresting more than 200 people for “national-security offenses” since the law’s enaction, CCP-backed authorities have detained pro-democracy journalists and forced several media outlets to cease operations, with such actions leading to the complete demolition of the city’s free press. Government officials have also overhauled the region’s election systems, wherein only “patriots” who have demonstrated their loyalty to the Chinese government are permitted to run for public office.

As demonstrated in mainland China, the primary interest of CCP-aligned officials has never been to preserve life, but rather to maintain the current power structure. By using Covid as an excuse for more restrictions, the CCP and its lackeys in Hong Kong are hoping to further assimilate the city into the top-to-bottom-run system used in China, while attempting to uphold the image of Hong Kong as a free system independent of influence from Beijing.

Chinese dictator Xi Jinping alluded to such desires during his July 1 speech marking the 25th anniversary of Great Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, in which he repeatedly emphasized the need for “patriots” to maintain their rule over the city.

“Keeping political power in the hands of patriots is a political rule commonly practiced in the world. No people in any country or region in the world will ever allow political power to fall into the hands of forces or individuals who do not love, or even sell out, or betray, their own country,” Xi said. “To keep the power to administer the Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] firmly in the hands of patriots is essential for safeguarding the long-term governance and security of Hong Kong; at no time should this principle be allowed to be compromised.”

Just as CCP officials in China used the country’s health code system to suppress citizens protesting corruption, expect Hong Kong officials to abuse their newly adopted restrictions to carry out similar actions against their people. For the CCP and their Hong Kong allies, employing disproven lockdown policies is simply a steppingstone in maintaining greater dominion over the region’s civilian population — thus putting a final nail in the coffin for a once-free city.


Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

China Orders Christians to Take Down Images of Jesus from Their Homes


Reported by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. | 
URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/07/20/china-orders-christians-to-take-down-images-of-jesus-from-homes/

Christian / AP Photo

Chinese communist authorities have ordered poor Christian villagers to remove Christian images from their homes and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping or risk losing their welfare benefits.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued its program of “Sinicization” of religion by channeling religious fervor in the country toward the Party rather than God, the Christian Post reported this weekend.

In May, an official in the eastern province of Shandong raided the home of a local Christian and hung pictures of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping on the wall in place of Christian images.

“These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones,” the official told them.

This year, China’s “social credit system” was scheduled to become fully functional, assigning points to each individual based on how much the Communist Party approves of them and using their rating to control their behavior and access to certain benefits..

“There are fears that China’s new ‘social credit system’ – designed to reward good citizenship and punish bad – will be used to discriminate against Christians,” wrote the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need in a 2019 report.

The fears are tied to “cash rewards for those who inform on underground churches and other ‘unofficial’ places of worship,” indicating that the government might also reward the persecution of Christians with high “social credit” scores.

According to the religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter, the CCP is now using state welfare benefits as leverage to coerce people into worshiping the Party rather than Jesus. In April, for instance, party officials visited the homes of Christians in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi, ordering those who receive welfare payments from the government to remove crosses, Christian symbols, and images in their homes and replace them with portraits of China’s communist leaders. The officials threatened the Christians that non-compliance with the order would result in suspension of their welfare subsidies.

“All impoverished households in the town were told to display Mao Zedong images,” a local house church preacher said. “The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.”

Officials have often made good on their threats, ruthlessly suspending benefits to Christians who fail to give up their devotions. Communist authorities cancelled the government subsidies of one elderly Christian woman from Shangqiu city in Henan after they found an image of a cross posted on the door of her home.

“They tore it down immediately,” she said. “Afterward, both my minimum living allowance and poverty alleviation subsidy were canceled. I am being driven to a dead end. I have diabetes and need injections regularly.”

Something similar occurred in in Xinyu city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, when officials canceled the minimum living subsidy and a monthly disability allowance of 100 RMB (about $14) to a disabled Christian who disobeyed government orders and continued to attend worship services.

Another Christian living in Jiangxi’s Poyang county — a woman in her 80s — reportedly stopped receiving government aid after she said “Thank God” after receiving her monthly 200 RMB (about $28) subsidy in mid-January.

“They expected me to praise the kindness of the Communist Party instead,” she said.

In another case, local officials entered the home of a member of a state-sponsored Three-Self church and tore down all Christian images, including a calendar with an image of Jesus, and posted a portrait of Mao Zedong instead.

“Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing — they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” the official declared.

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