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Outpouring of Resentment on Chinese Social Media Is Overwhelming Censors

Netizens are hijacking official hashtags to sound off on Covid Zero and other government policies.

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Illustrator: Somnath Bhatt; Photo: Getty Images

In the early hours of April 14, the Chinese Communist Party’s social media strategy went off the rails.

It began when state media accounts on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, promoted the hashtag “The U.S. is the country with the largest human-rights deficit.” Tens of thousands of Chinese internet users turned the accusation around onto Beijing.