On Tuesday, China’s largest newspaper The People’s Daily tweeted that thousands of pigeons had undergone “anal security checks” to ensure they weren’t carrying anything harmful in their bodies. These rectal examinations were performed as a terrorism precaution for China’s National Day on Wednesday.
Here is the puzzling tweet:
Despite the fact that pro-democracy protests have been going on for several days in Hong Kong, China continues to aggressively censor news about the protests. This tweet served as a distraction and is just one example — albeit a ridiculous one — of China’s media complying and avoiding coverage of Hong Kong’s demonstrations. Additionally, China has also gone through social media to limit information being released about the protests — including removing protest-related posts from Twitter-like service Weibo and banning Instagram.
However, protesters won’t be deterred. As one participant said:
“We have spent more than a week under the sun, under pepper spray, we of course can stand the rain. Nothing can stop us.” (source)
Some people, appalled by the pigeon tweet, even took China’s media to task:
Try as China might, it cannot stifle, censor or distract from the enormity of this:
In the words of one protester:
“We are all afraid, but we think we should keep on resisting for full democracy.”(source)