(PresidentialInsider.com)- After the US-born figure skater who defected to compete for China repeatedly fell during her routine at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Chinese social media users were so scathing in their response, China began censoring any mention of her blunder.
Beverly Zhu’s first performance in Beijing was an utter disaster. She fell early on in her routine, then crashed into the wall after failing to land a jump. By the time she was done, Zhu was in tears as she awaited her score.
Zhu finished with the lowest score in skating and China plummeted from third place to fifth place, only narrowly making it through the next round.
After her humiliating performance, hashtags like #ZhuYiFellOver began trending on China’s social media platform Weibo. The hashtag grew so popular, in no time, it had over 230 million views.
But then the hashtag was deactivated.
Now China didn’t censor the mockery of Beverly Zhu to protect her delicate feelings. It censored the mockery to protect itself.
China scored a propaganda coup having American athletes choose to compete for China over the United States. Chinese social media users relentlessly mocking one of those athletes not only blows up the propaganda it also made China look foolish.
The objective was to use these American athletes to humiliate the United States. And then one of those athletes ended up humiliating China.
In short, it backfired.
So China needed to remove all evidence that their propaganda coup was a failure.
To add insult to injury, US skater Nathan Chen not only led Team USA to a silver medal in the team figure skating competition, but he also won the gold in the men’s individual event.
Chen, who is a Chinese American, was attacked on Weibo and labeled a “traitor” for competing on the US team. Users demanded Chen leave China, accused him of being too Americanized, and excoriated him for “insulting China” for, among other things, giving interviews in English.