Video of Mentally Ill Woman Chained in Shack Stirs Anger in China

Video of Mentally Ill Woman Chained in Shack Stirs Anger in China


//The video was seemingly everywhere on the Chinese internet: A middle-aged woman standing in a doorless brick shack, a dazed expression on her face, wearing no coat though it was the middle of winter. Around her neck was a metal chain, shackling her to the wall.

The brief clip, posted by a blogger on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, raised many questions, and social media users demanded answers.

As anger built, officials in Jiangsu Province, where the video was filmed last week, issued a terse statement.

The video, and the officials’ response, drew renewed attention to several longstanding problems in China.

And the case underscored, yet again, how wary the authorities are of any upswell of public opinion. Even as pro-government voices such as Mr. Hu Xijin criticized the local officials’ response, Douyin shut down the account of the blogger who had originally posted the video of Ms. Yang on its platform. Weibo also censored some related hashtags.

“Even though officials will respond to turbulent public opinion, they always want to keep the response and solution firmly under control,” said Fang Kecheng, a journalism professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who studies media and politics. “They don’t want the people to talk or organize too much.” //



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