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Chinese #MeToo Activists Turn to Blockchain to Avoid Censorship

Chinese #MeToo Activists Turn to Blockchain to Avoid Censorship 101
Source: iStock/~UserGI15987820

Activists have posted a student of Peking University's #MeToo movement letter on the Ethereum blockchain in an attempt to avoid government censorship. The student, Yue Xin, is accusing university authorities of trying to “silence” her and an open letter to the university, pertaining to an alleged sexual harassment case involving a university professor.

Yue and up to seven fellow students say that on April 9, they filed an official request with the prestigious university. They asked to see information on a case involving former professor Shen Yang, which allegedly took place more than 20 years ago.

Shen is alleged to have raped a female student who later took her own life. The university investigated the case at the time, and parted company with Yang. The university is thought to still have documents pertaining to the matter – which Yue and fellow students demanded to see.

However, the students say the university and state authorities have tried to put pressure on Yue to drop the matter. Yue took to social media to publicize her case, and complain that her parents were also put under pressure. Her posts relating to the matter on both WeChat and Weibo apps have been removed.

This led an anonymous activist to post Yue's open letter to the university on the Ethereum blockchain, in a transaction that cost some USD 0.52 in the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Activists claim the move will ensure the letter remains safe from government censure forever, even if the government restricts access to the Ethereum blockchain site in China.

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