The Chinese media has revealed that the Chinese Communist Party has further tightened its grip on online speech, with the blocking of popular science and education websites such as “Elephant Guild” and “Paperclip”. Some senior media observers have pointed out that China is launching an “online cultural revolution,” and commentators are concerned that the “anti-intellectual era” of mutual reporting has arrived. The “anti-intellectual era” has arrived.
China Digital Times on Wednesday (14) quoted Chinese media sources as disclosing that “Elephant Guild”, “Paperclip” and “Museum of Confusion”, which are influential science and technology media among the Chinese public, are in the process of launching an “online cultural revolution”. “The Elephant Guild, Paperclip, Museum of Confusion, and Elephant Guild have been banned or deactivated. “The accounts of Huang Zhangjin, the founder of Elephant Guild, on Weibo, WeChat, Zhihu, B Station and Xigua Video were also not spared.
As early as the evening of June 18, Chinese video site B station user “Sai Lei talk gold” to start “sue the rapist mode”, released a video entitled “not let Chinese people eat seafood behind the real big melon, today I’ll unified to tell you”. The two former editors of the “paperclip” team were reported to be in collusion with “foreign forces”.
“Sailor’s Gold accuses former Paperclip editor Nie Tongyu of working at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, while another former employee, Ji Wenyi, has repeatedly made “anti-China remarks” on overseas social media platforms. “On June 19, Paperclip PaperClip was released.
On June 19, Paperclip issued an apology statement, saying that the two employees involved in the incident had both left the company, and that it would invite senior experts from mainstream media to take up the post of editor-in-chief in the future, responsible for gate-keeping content guidance, strengthening professional training, ideological education and management for its employees, and temporarily suspending the shift before that. The statement also apologized for Ji Wenyi’s personal content published on social media platforms.
Subsequently, the “Central Committee of the Communist Youth League” and “Global Network” supported the reporting behavior.
In the wake of the incident, some Chinese netizens were concerned that the popular science website known as “Elephant Guild” would be the target of attacks.
“Huang Zhangjin, the founder of the Elephant Guild, said that the content related to the Elephant Guild has been blocked from the entire network and that he is currently considering the future of the team. But he did not comment on the incident.
Huang Zhangjin said: I think this is a matter of time, I now want to reassure colleagues, just we thought there are still fish, I did not think that the “Museum of Chaos” was also shut down, in fact, is to cut off the life of the well! We don’t allow these organizations to have any media life, so I think it’s good to let you die and do something else.
Liu Lipeng, a former censor of Sina Weibo and a media professional currently working for China Digital Times, argued in an interview with this station that a new “online version of the Cultural Revolution” is unfolding in China, a kind of deformed ” China’s culture of cancellation,” in which the government’s black hand uses public reporting to stifle free thinking.
Liu Lipeng said, “This is more like the “Chinese version of the cancellation culture”. The culture of reporting has been revived, and this kind of labeling has become very useful again. This is the online version of the Cultural Revolution.
Liu Lipeng also believes that after the fall of the “elephant system”, Chinese society will fall into a crazy atmosphere of “mutual reporting”.
Liu Lipeng said: I think this will directly affect ordinary people, not that hunting this science number. Reporting will probably proliferate and become uncontrollable, with crazy inward rolls and mutual reporting.
The incident sparked a discussion at Club House, where Mr. L from the United States argued that the “elephant system” of science popularization, although avoiding political issues, has the effect of opening up the people’s wisdom, which is not tolerated by the Chinese Communist Party. China under Xi Jinping has returned to the dystopian era of “anti-intellectualism”.
Mr. L said: These people who really open people’s wisdom and inspire people’s minds are mercilessly attacked, which reflects the CCP’s fear of the emergence of any organization or force beyond its control, even if they are doing such simple scientific work, they will be subject to the CCP’s iron fist. In fact, we are not in the “Cultural Revolution 2.0” now, but we are already in the “Cultural Revolution 2.0”.
Huang Zhangjin, the founder of “Elephant Guild”, is a senior media person, who was the executive editor of Phoenix Weekly; in December 2013, “Elephant Guild” micro letter public number on the letter; in July 2014, the mobile application was launched; its content is mainly science popularization. In March 2014, Elephant Guild’s WeChat public number was briefly blocked for politically sensitive topics.
Paperclip, founded in late 2017, is a pan-science short-video self-publisher, whose video “All about New Crown Pneumonia” was well received by the public during the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak in 2020. In March of the same year, Paperclip producer Wu Songlei apologized to viewers after the map in “Where Does Tap Water Come From” was reported by Chinese “patriotic netizens”.