Zhang Zhan, 37, is a citizen journalist who reported on the early evidence of a pandemic in Wuhan. In its latest abuse of basic human rights, the Chinese regime has sentenced Zhang to four years in prison for her courageous reporting. She was reportedly convicted under the absurd criminal allegation that she was “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
According to a The New York Times report, the sentence is meant to silence any others who would share information on the failures and responsibilities of the Chinese government for spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chinese government has denied any such failures despite overwhelming evidence of a cover-up that denied the world critical time to contain and fight the spread of the virus.
Notably, the Chinese continue to scrub any discussion of its role in social media. It is a chilling example of the censorship that is now being embraced by many in the United States. The Atlantic published an article by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods calling for Chinese style censorship of the internet. They declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong” and “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with society norms and values.”
At the same time, Democrats have embraced censorship and speech controls. We have have been discussing how writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. The erosion of free speech has been radically accelerated by the Big Tech and social media companies. The level of censorship and viewpoint regulation has raised questions of a new type of state media where companies advance an ideological agenda with political allies.