The Chinese Communist Party has been heavily censoring social media posts by feminists. While the CCP is synonymous with internet censorship, in this case, the stakes are even higher as the country’s ten-year census is nearing. What’s more, the census is suspected to show a decline in birth rates for the fourth consecutive year.
“In recent days, more than a dozen accounts used by feminists were deleted from the Weibo social-media platform as well as cultural-discussion site Douban.com,” wrote the WSJ.
Weibo and Douban.com are prominent social media platforms in the country. Weibo is more or less referred to as “Chinese Twitter” as it is also a microblogging platform built exclusively for the Chinese netizens. Both the social media platforms are subjected to heavy surveillance and censorship by the CCP.
A user wrote on Weibo about the declining birth rates and censorship, stating: “What are they afraid of? Are they afraid of more women waking up? Are they panicking when seeing the fertility rates and marriage rates?”
While the ten-year census was to be out by early April, it hasn’t been released yet. China’s National Statistics Bureau’s spokesperson said the agency was taking longer to release the census, as there was more data to process than ever.
A women’s activist whose account on Weibo was suspended, said women who look after their household by taking the role of a housewife are often treated as unpaid labor.
Weibo, on the other hand, in a recently released statement, said it took down some accounts as they were “related to illegal or hurtful information.”
If the claims about the decline in birth rate do turn out true – it may be unsettling for the CCP. In recent years, the CCP has intensely promoted nuclear families, asking people to get married and give birth to children quickly. Ironically though, the CCP, under the rule of the party’s founder Mao Zedong, promoted exactly the opposite.
Mao encouraged young women to join the country’s workforce and dissuaded them from having children or marrying.