On May 2, a Chinese-language news portal, the People’s Daily, published an article titled, “Censorship of the internet by the state.”
The article included an image of a computer screen with a text caption: “The internet has become an instrument of oppression.”
The news portal later deleted the image, but its article went viral and became the subject of intense debate on social media.
The article said the internet “has become an indispensable tool to oppress people,” and that internet censorship is necessary to maintain “social stability and the rule of law.”
It also said the Chinese Communist Party, which runs the country, “continues to impose its will on the country through its Internet Control Law.”
The story was quickly picked up by other internet news outlets and was republished in Chinese-speaking media.
After the story was published, the Internet Information Center, an organization in China dedicated to fighting internet censorship, issued a statement criticizing the article, calling it “offensive” and “unpatriotic.”
China has been fighting internet freedom for years.
In 2013, it announced that it would restrict the amount of data that citizens could upload on the internet, a move that has led to calls from activists to restrict the internet entirely.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Information Technology and Information Technology launched a new tool to allow Chinese citizens to circumvent censorship.
The new tool allows users to upload pictures, videos and other types of files without permission and to circumvent the blocking of internet access, the ministry said.
It also announced the formation of an advisory group to advise on the creation of the new tool.
The group will be chaired by Wu Zhimin, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Wu’s term as chairman of the advisory group ended in July, and he has not been reappointed.