China’s #metoo Movement Dodges Censorship on the Ethereum Blockchain

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The sectors of the economy that blockchain technology has disrupted continues to rise, and now the #metoo movement in China can be added to that list.

Despite the fact that the government has largely banned activities associated with digital currencies, the technology that underpins bitcoin has given #metoo student activists a voice.

Yue Xin, a student at Beijing’s Peking University, attempted to bring to the surface revelations of a sexual assault situation involving a professor and a student from two decades ago, long before she enrolled. Yue was one of a group of students inspired by the #metoo movement to stand up against sexual assault sweeping the globe. They learned the details of the sexual assault after a freedom of information request.

School officials sought to silence her in response, and now student activists fighting back against the censorship have documented the sexual harassment incident in perpetuity on the unalterable blockchain. Below is a screenshot from Sup China –

SupChina.com

Pandora’s Box

Yue shared in an open letter detailing how top brass attempted to silence her for disclosing details of the sexual assault, explaining how she was bullied to erase any documentation of the event and was shamefully sent home. In an eerie twist, the chain of events nearly led Yue’s mother to take her own life, which is the course of action that the victim of the sexual assault took in the 1990s. But Chinese officials in their attempt to keep a lid on the events have opened a Pandora’s box of another kind.

Yue’s letter started spreading like wildfire on China’s top messaging platforms for millennials, WeChat and Weibo. Eventually, screenshots were blocked and the messages disappeared.

Rather than succumb to the government’s strong arm that has weakened the #metoo movement in the country, savvy student activists fought back by putting Yue’s memo on Ethereum’s impenetrable blockchain. The letter was published anonymously via an ether transaction that according to reports cost less than a dollar.

“It’s symbolic but won’t be easily adopted by the public masses. Decentralised media still has miles to go. But it gives people new hope,” Isaac Mao, who is developing a blockchain-fueled media platform to combat censorship, told Bloomberg.

China and Cryptocurrencies

Chinese citizens are no strangers to the government imposing on their rights, as evidenced by the one-child restriction that previously was in place for families in the country. Bobby Lee, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange BTCC, likened China’s crackdown on bitcoin exchanges to the one-child ban, having said that he expects the ban on cryptocurrency trading to eventually be lifted.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Gerelyn is a fintech and cryptocurrency journalist who started her career writing about traditional finance/Wall Street. She has been reporting on financial services for the past 15-plus years. In full disclosure, she holds bitcoin (BTC).