China #MeToo activists use blockchain to dodge censors


Beijing: Attempts to silence a student who drew attention to sexual abuse allegations at a Chinese university have inspired tech-savvy activists to use blockchain technology to dodge censors and keep the fledgling #MeToo movement alive.

The uproar began when a student wrote an open letter this week accusing a staff member at Peking University of trying to intimidate her over a petition she launched urging the school to make public a probe into a 1998 sexual abuse case.

The student’s missive was quickly taken down from Chinese social media after it went viral, only to resurface on the blockchain service Ethereum on Monday night, attracting hundreds of comments.

“This is how we use technology to (fight) against brutal tyranny,” said one commenter, while others hailed it as a “historic moment”.

The #MeToo movement has been concentrated in university campuses in China, and the authorities have tolerated some social media commentary about sexual harassment allegations in recent months.

But the furore over the Peking University case appears to have been too much for censors.

Yue Xin, a foreign languages student, co-authored a petition with around 20 others demanding the university release details of the probe into allegations a student was driven to suicide after being sexually abused by a professor. — AFP

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