Gary King, a researcher at Harvard University, believes software he developed to monitor government censorship on multiple Chinese social media sites picked up hints days earlier that a major political event was about to occur.
Five days before Bo demoted his advisor, the Harvard software registered the start of a steady climb in the proportion of posts blocked by censors, a trend that lasted for several days. King says he has noticed similar patterns several times in advance of major political news events in the country. “We have examples where it’s perfectly clear what the Chinese government is about to do,” he says. “It conveys way more about the Chinese government’s intents and actions than anything before.”
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