Not the people themselves. But their government censoring their own leader's remarks out in the real world.
Sure, we all expect our leaders to say some things overseas and then pander to a different audience back home. But this kinda takes the cake in a way.
The BBC television report was airing a clip from Wednesday's Obama-Hu news conference at the White House, on the touchy topic of human rights. "A lot still needs to be done . . . ," Chinese President Hu Jintao started to say.
And then the television report went black.
Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency that provides most of the reports for local news media, mentioned only in passing that Obama and Hu held a joint news conference. There was no transcript or details of the questions and answers.
Xinhua's English-language Web site, aimed at foreign audiences, did have a section on human rights but omitted Hu's concession. It quoted Hu as saying, "China recognizes and respects the universality of human rights. And at the same time, we do believe that we also need to take into account the different national circumstances when it comes to the universal value of human rights."
Several other Web sites did report Hu's comments on human rights, including QQ.com, Sina.com and 163.com. But QQ.com and Sina.com did not allow readers' comments after their stories.
The 163.com site had dozens of comments, but readers in China were able to see only two of them.Good luck keeping this stuff bottled up forever. Worked out pretty well in Tunisia. Or not.
Maybe internet consumption will just all of a sudden slow down in the next ten-twenty years.