Citizen Journalists Who Exposed Beijing’s Lies In Wuhan Have Suddenly Vanished

Citizen Who Exposed ’s Lies In Wuhan Have Suddenly Vanished

As we reported late Thursday evening, the toll from the outbreak on mainland has surpassed 600. With global once again in the , reports that Beijing has silenced two of the citizen journalists responsible for much of the horrifying footage seeping onto western .

As BBG’s explains, Chinese citizen journalists and Fang Bin have effectively been “the ’s eyes and ears” inside Wuhan (much of the produced by American has consisted of footage). In recent days, SCMP and news reporting on the ground and in English have warned that Beijing has stepped up efforts to censor Chinese social media after allowing citizens to vent their frustrations and news without the usual scrutiny.

On Wednesday, China said its censors would conduct “targeted supervision” on the social media including ’s and ’s Douyin. in an effort to the dystopian nightmare that in like Wuhan has become.

But that brief period of informational is over, apparently. Fang posted a dramatic on Friday him being forcibly detained and dragged off to a ‘’. He was detained over a video showing corpses piled up in a . , he has already been released.

Chen, meanwhile, seems to have vanished without a trace, and is believed to still be in detention. We shared one of Chen’s more alarming videos the severe supply and outnumbered personnel fighting a ‘losing battle’ against the outbreak.

The crackdown on these journalists comes amid an outpouring of over the death of a who was wrongly victimized by after attempting to warn the about the outbreak. Beijing tried to cover up the death, denying it to the western press before the local confirmed.

The videos supplied by the two citizen journos have circulated most freely on , which is where most in-the-know Chinese for their latest about the outbreak. Many “hop” the “ firewall” via a VPN.

’s a lot more activity happening on Twitter compared with Weibo and WeChat,” said Maya Wang, senior China at . There has been a Chinese on Dorsey’s short- platform since before rose to power, she added, but the recent crackdown has weakened that social circle.

Chen has now been missing for more than , according to several in contact with BBG News.

Chen has been out of contact for a prolonged period of . His friends posted a message on his Twitter account saying he has been unreachable since 7 p.m. local on Thursday. In a texted , Bloomberg News’s last question to Chen was whether he was concerned about his as he’s among the few reporting the situation on the front lines.

It’s all part of the great crackdown that Beijing is enforcing, even as continues to praise the for its ‘’.

“After lifting the lid briefly to give the press and social media some ,” said Wang about China’s ruling Communist Party, the regime “is now reinstating its control over social media, fearing it could to a wider-spread panic.”

With a little luck, the world might learn Chen’s whereabouts. Then again, there’s always the that he’s never heard from again.

Tyler Durden

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