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China has banned the most popular rage comics website in the country for poking fun at a communist hero. Under the “Heroes and Martyrs Protection Act,” passed by the National People’s Congress and enacted on May 1st, it’s now illegal to make jokes at the expense of communist heroes or martyrs, those distinctions belonging of course to the state.
The comics site Baozou, which had more than 10 million followers on the Chinese social media site Weibo and over 245,000 subscribers on Youtube, was so popular that its rage comic 7723 was turned into a Netflix film called Next Gen, which is currently in development, the streaming service announced at Cannes recently. The animated film feature voice acting from Jason Sudeikis, Michael Pena, Constance Wu, David Cross, and Charlyne Yi.
The video depicted someone wearing a “rage face” mask mocking Dong Cunrui, a young communist soldier who blew himself up to destroy a Nationalist party bunker during the Chinese Civil War.
The Cyberspace Administration of China, which is China’s main internet regulator, said in a statement on Thursday evening that it “summoned the executives of several internet platform companies this afternoon and asked them to strictly apply the cyberspace regulation.” In response, Weibo said it had shut down 16 accounts, including Baozou’s, for showing disrespect to communist heroes.
Weibo deleted Baozou’s account on Thursday evening, along with other platforms including Jinri Toutiao, China’s popular news aggregator, and the video platform Youku.
China has a rich history of censoring animations, from Winnie the Pooh for resembling President Xi Jinping, to Peppa Pig for being a subversive “gangster” icon, to the parody app Neihan Duanzi for having “misleading and vulgar content.”
Ren Jian, the CEO of the company behind Baozou, apologized on Thursday night. “The company is very grateful to the media and fans’ supervision and criticizing, so that we can see our deficiency clearly and do better in the future,” he said in a statement on Weibo in the since-deleted account.
For the second time this year, investigators used a public DNA database to solve a cold case and find a murderer. The bust: A 55-year-old truck driver, William Talbott, was arrested today in Washington State after being fingered in a 30-year-old double murder. How they found him: According to Buzzfeed, investigators located Talbott’s family members after uploading old crime scene DNA to GEDMatch, a crowdsourced database that genealogists use to compare DNA and build family trees.
That’s the same database used in April to locate the Golden State Killer. Nowhere to hide: DNA databases are now so large that nearly everyone has a relative who has joined one. More to come: Expect more big cases to break soon.
A Virginia-based company called Parabon Nanolabs, which helped with the Washington murders, says it has DNA from 100 crime scenes and expects half the cases will be solved using relative matching.
In May, after the Golden State Killer news was released, the company began touting “genetic genealogy services for law enforcement.”
- Antonio Regalado