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Chinese Internet Blacklists Winnie the Pooh

July 17, 2017 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Everyone’s favorite honey-eating, silly old bear is now banned in China. MSN reports that China has blacklisted Winnie the Pooh (called Little Bear Winnie over there) from social media after he was used to mock President Xi Jinping. Searches on the Chinese social network get an error message that says “content is illegal” and animated gifs featuring Pooh are gone from messaging program WeChat.

An official reason has not been stated, but the Financial Times said that comparisons between the two have been online for years. They started in 2013 after President Xi visited with President Barack Obama, after a photo of Pooh and Tigger was placed alongside a photo of the two Presidents. In 2014, a photo of Xi standing through the roof of a car was placed alongside a photo of Pooh in a toy car. Political consultancy Global Risk Insights named it the “most censored image of 2015.”

The Chinese government hasn’t been shy at quieting dissent in the past and adds new words to its blacklists around the time of big political events. Although those words are usually tied to the actual events, not harmless cartoon bears.

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Winnie the Pooh, Joseph Lee