Chinese citizens target CCP govt on Weibo with subversive LGBTQI hashtag ‘Call Me By Your Name’ after COVID-19 fiasco | #socialmedia


‘Call Me By Your Name’, winner of this year’s Oscar for best adapted screenplay, was the latest LGBTQI film to be censored in China

People walk on Jianghan street in Wuhan, China – AFP

The Chinese are known for their ingenuity, one of the earliest civilizations who were the pioneers of many firsts, it seems they still are way ahead when it comes to thinking on their feet. In the latest, Chinese citizens have managed to find a cunning way to get around the country’s extensive censorship of social media.

Turns out Chinese citizens started to target the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government on Weibo with subversive ‘Call me by your name’ hashtag even as the regime censored it.

“Call Me By Your Name”, winner of this year’s Oscar for best adapted screenplay, was the latest LGBTQI film to be censored in China. The censorship of the film occurred just days after China shifted control of all its film and media to the Department of Propaganda.

While China is swift in taking down anti-Government social media posts, many found a clever way of getting around this. Journalist Ma Wenhao pointed it on on Twitter, writing, “it seemed that many netizens had had enough of the Chinese government’s attempts to escape criticism by focusing on how bad the West/United States is. So they occupied the hashtag ‘US is the biggest country of human rights deficit’, to express their anger at the state.”

For a few hours Chinese citizens were able to unleash their anger on the government over the COVID-19 crisis in Shanghai, amid other issues. But the Government has caught up.

In a more recent tweet, Wenhao shared, “China is censoring hashtag “Call me by your name” and its variations on Weibo. It’s now at its 12th incarnation. Since yesterday, Chinese netizens have been using this phrase to make fun of the government always using the US to redirect the public’s attention.”

In subsequent tweets, he wrote, “There’s been different interpretations of what this phrase actually means in this context. Some say it means when netizens want to complain about China, they have to replace China with the US so they don’t get censored,” before going on to add, “Another interpretation is that China’s state media and diplomats’ negative description of the US sometimes fits China perfectly, which makes China and the US interchangeable.”
Wenhao concluded by writing, “And of course, the phrase originally came from the 2017 book based movie Call Me By Your Name.”

For the unversed, “Call Me By Your Name” is a gay coming-of-age romance based on a novel by André Aciman. The novel follows 17-year-old American boy who falls in love with his father’s graduate student while spending the summer at his family’s villa in Italy.

With anger brewing in the country over the Chinese Communist Party’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai, which saw citizens being locked indoors with no food, along with a number of other atrocities, including separating parents from their wards. Chinese citizens have been trying to find innovative ways of venting their anger at the Government.

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