What does Self-Censorship mean?
All websites hosted in China are required to exercise self-censorship. This takes many forms and is more complex to track than censorship of foreign websites. Some websites admit to self-censorship by displaying a certain message when searching for certain keywords. One example is Baidu, as shown above, which presents the following message for particularly sensitive searches:
This roughly translates to:
In accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies, some search results were not displayed.
However, this does not mean that searches without this message are not censored. A more realistic interpretation is probably that the search is particularly sensitive and perhaps subject to a higher level of censorship than other searches.
Our system concludes that a website is subject to Self-Censorship if:
- The URL is a Baidu search result page, and
- The result page contains the following text: 根据相关法律法规和政策，部分搜索结果未予显示。