“On Monday, the Chinese government demonstrated just how much power it has over the opinions of its billion-strong population by deciding to ban use of a single letter,” Matthew Humphries reports for PC Magazine. “That letter is ‘N’ and its censorship followed moves by the Chinese Communist Party to remove the ten year limit on a presidency from the country’s Constitution.”

“As the BBC explained, the party is proposing to remove the expression ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s Constitution in relation to how long both the President and Vice-President can remain in power,” Humphries reports. “If removed, it would mean current President Xi Jinping could rule for as long as he wants and continue to consolidate his power.”

“As you’d expect, the discussion that followed this proposal online was far from positive. Business Insider reports that China’s Internet censors went into overdrive, banning words including ‘Xi JinP,’ ’emigrate,’ ‘lifelong,’ ‘indefinite control,’ and “‘I disagree.”‘ But they also went a step further and banned all use of the letter ‘N.’ That may sound strange until you realize in China, N is the equivalent of how we use X in algebra to represent an unknown value. N also represents infinity,” Humphries reports. “Chats on services such as the very popular Weibo were using N in a number of ways including to represent how long Xi Jinping would now be in power (infinity)…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why can’t Chinese citizens be trusted with freedom?

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. — Potter Stewart

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech. ― Benjamin Franklin

If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ― George Washington

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. ― United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it. — John Perry Barlow

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