China Bans The Letter ‘N’ From Its Internal Internet

Screengrab/euronews/YouTube

Other items banned include images of Winnie the Pooh and George Orwell's novels 'Animal Farm' and '1984'.

As was reported Wednesday, public opposition to the Chinese Communist Party's decision to vote on extending President Xi Jinping's reign resulted in the Chinese government censoring a lengthy list of words and phrases on the internet -- even going so far as banning the word 'disagree'.

But more perplexing in its quest to squash dissent is the state's ban on the letter 'N'.

The China Digital Times reports that a list of proposals made by Beijing's National People's Conference includes the letter 'n', George Orwell's novels 'Animal Farm' and '1984', and the phrase 'Xi Zedong', a combination of Mr Xi and former dictator Chairman Mao Zedong's names.

It is not entirely clear why the letter 'n' was briefly banned, just one among hundreds of words and phrases, although some speculate it could be considered a sign of dissent.

Co-founder of GreatFire.org, which helps people bypass Chinese censorship, Charlie Smith said that most likely the letter 'N' was an innocent casualty of a hurried process:

"[Censors] probably determined it was sensitive and then moved to add that content to the blacklist so others would not be able to post something similar,” he said, noting that the seditious symbol had now been emancipated.

“I doubt that they actually put that much thought into it so sadly, the letter ‘N’ was a victim of this rash decision.”

Another interesting choice?

Censors also banned images of Winnie the Pooh after dissenters shared images of the cartoon bear hugging a jar of honey alongside the quote: "Find the thing you love and stick with it."

The Disney bear's image has been compared to President Xi Jinping, prompting periodic blocks on the use of Pooh pictures online.

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