Eileen Gu Boasts How Easy It Is To Dodge China Social Media Censors; Post Vanishes | #socialmedia


California-born skier Eileen Gu, who won Olympic gold for China, gushed on Instagram about the ease of ducking social media censorship in her adopted nation. Then her post vanished, apparently a result of censorship.

Gu’s chirpy Instagram posts during the Olympics have touched off furious debate in China, where the government blocks Instagram, as well as Google, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, in its so-called Great Firewall.

“Why can you use Instagram and millions of Chinese people from the mainland cannot?” an angry follower asked Gu last week in a post.

Gu seemed surprised by the question, suggesting it was simple to skirt restrictions by using a VPN — Virtual Private Network — which can slip past internet surveillance.

“Anyone can download a vpn its literally free on the App Store,” Gu wrote, according to a screenshot of the conversation that has since vanished.

Many people in China do use VPNs, but it’s very difficult. China has banned the use of VPNs for individuals, and citizens are often punished for trying to dodge internet restrictions.

Gold-medal-winning skier Eileen Gu explains how to dodge Chinese restrictions on social media.

Screen Shot/Instagram/Eileen Gu

A screenshot of Gu’s message posted on Chinese social media site Weibo quickly went viral. But followers testily pointed out that it’s just not that easy.

“Literally, I’m not ‘anyone.’ Literally, it’s illegal for me to use a VPN. Literally, it’s not f**king free at all,” one Weibo user complained, referring to fees required when someone in China manages to obtain a VPN.

Gu’s Instagram post suggesting how to dodge social media restrictions is no more, and the Weibo screenshot post of Gu’s VPN suggestion is now blank after being shared thousands of times.

Posted screen shot on Weibo of Eileen Gu's Instagram message urging people to use a VPN to skirt China's social media restrictions is now blank.
Posted screen shot on Weibo of Eileen Gu’s Instagram message urging people to use a VPN to skirt China’s social media restrictions is now blank.

The Taiwan News quipped that Gu had her “Marie Antoinette moment,” revealing her cluelessness about what most Chinese people deal with.

Gu could not be reached for comment.





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