The Chinese government has banned the letter "N" and George Orwell's Animal Farm in a major online censorship clampdown.
According to The Guardian
, the Communist party has painted the move as an expression of overwhelming popular support for China’s strongman leader. Experts say this paves the way for Xi Jinping "to become a dictator for life." There has been widespread online push-back in China since the ban was announced on February 25 -- the same as the annual political congress in Beijing.
The China Digital Times, a California-based site covering China, reports a list of terms excised from Chinese websites by government censors includes the letter "N," Orwell's novels Animal Farm and 1984, and the phrase "Xi Zedong." The latter is a combination of President Xi and former chairman Mao Zedong's names. It is speculated that the letter "N" may either be used or interpreted as a sign of dissent.
reports search terms blocked on Sino Weibo, a microblogging site which is China’s equivalent of Twitter, include “disagree,” “personality cult,” “lifelong,” “immortality,” “emigrate,” and “shameless.”
This censorship is fortified by the Great Firewall of China - a term which refers to the combined force of technological and legislative measures which tightly control the internet on the mainland.