China: preventive censorship begins
The novel she had been working on for months is about to finish, when one day she discovers that the draft of the work, a file of 1.3 million characters, has disappeared from the Cloud in which it was saved: not due to an oversight related to the rescue, but because the entire text has been censored, due to sensitive content identified by the operator of the cloud. It happened in China, where we are now in preventive censorship, implemented before the writing is published. It is certainly not new that the digital world of the Dragon is subject to the strictest control of the authorities.
The writer, in the throes of discouragement, vented out by telling the incredible story of the novel that was censored on the literary forum Lkong and on the social network Xiaohongshu. And there she discovered that she was not alone: the occorsal misfortune had happened to many other users, who complained of having been victims of censorship operated directly on the Wps Office data storage Cloud, the Chinese package used as an alternative to Google Docs or Microsoft Office. 365.
Who granted WPS Office the right to examine private documents and arbitrarily decide what to do with them?
The case has attracted the curiosity of many influencers, who have publicly denounced the incident making the ominous episode viral. So much was the social outcry that Kingsoft, the software company that owns the service, justified itself on Weibo by reporting that all platforms that provide online information services are responsible for reviewing the content disseminated on their platforms. The Chinese law on cyber security provides for this. Which also states that Wps Office does not have end-to-end encryption which would have made it impossible for Kingsoft to analyze line by line the subsequently censored novel.
The attitude of the Beijing authorities on digital censorship is traditionally one of the least transparent in the world: in the absence of clear answers and in an attempt to dispel the smokescreen, Chinese citizens obviate the lack of clarity by seeking answers on the Net. The unfortunate writer of the censored novel can still breathe a sigh of relief: according to the South China Morning Post, in fact, after filing a complaint she was able to access the document again, a result without problematic elements after a accurate analysis.