In order to build up its censorship algorithm, WeChat surveils international accounts to decide what gets through to China-registered users. A Citizen Lab study finds that the messaging app blacklisted more than 500 keyword combinations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. About the findings, Ron Deibert told the South China Morning Post: “If users [of WeChat] weren’t concerned before, they should be very concerned now and re-evaluate the risks of using this application.”

An example of a sensitive image used in Citizen Lab testing: a cartoon memorializing the passing of Nobel Peace Prize awardee Liu Xiaobo.