Many people know that Mainland China censors their internet and social media channels and even blocks the use of websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. By limiting these sites, they are protecting the way their government is portrayed and viewed by their residents… or at the least keeping people from speaking out against them. Along with banned websites and censored content comes a list of censored words that are blocked from social media posts and searches. As Gizmodo reports, the latest additions to that list reportedly contain the word “Disney” among others.
The blocking is most likely due to A.A. Milne’s classic character (and Disney property), Winnie the Pooh being banned after being turned into a meme of president Xi Jinping and his government.
— Dissident Pooh (@DissidentPooh) July 17, 2017
Disney opened its first park in Mainland China—Shanghai Disneyland—in 2016 and has expansion plans for the park already in motion. It should also be noted that Winnie the Pooh does have a presence in that park including the Hunny Pot Spin attraction. Whether or not the reported banning of the word “Disney” will have any effect on the resort remains to be seen, but one must wonder if Disney’s relationship with the Chinese is more fragile than it would appear. Is Disney the ultimate representation of Western Culture and freedom of speech and does it pose a true threat to China and its history?