Students in China have turned to coding messages onto the Ethereum blockchain in order to join the international #MeToo movement, evading the countries internet censorship.
As reported by Quartz on Tuesday, Chinese internet users have been subject to social media posts relating to the#MeToo removed from websites such asWeChat and Weibo in recent weeks. Activists have been turning to the tamper-proof Ethereum blockchain instead to express their solidarity.
It began with an anonymous address on the blockchain posting itself a transaction on 23 April, holding code that contained the text of an open letter inspired by the #MeToo movement that had been censored. The contents are now permanently stored in the public domain.
The letter was written by Yue Xin, a student from Peking University. It describes the unfair nature of treatment she received from the university when she attempted to launch a petition over a case of sexual harassment that took place at the institution two decades ago, that had resulted in the suicide of a female student.
Since her original transaction, more supporters have joined posting on the Ethereum blockchain.
Students from at least three different universities have coded their support, one writing “Disappointed by the official statement of Peking University, hope PKU will not stand on the wrong side of this issue. Keep strong! – Anonymous, in Tsinghua University,”.
Further messages from China’s Sun Yat Sen University and Xi’an Eurasia University have been sent, reading ”We should not be silent – we are from Xi’an Eurasia University”, and “We are willing to support you and we are from Sun Yat Sen University”.
While the blockchain has permanently documented all of these statements, China’s most dominant messaging app WeChat has blocked access to the blockchain transactions page on etherscan.io that would allow users to view the messages.
However, as these activists have proven, there are ways to avoid internet censorship, an ethic encapsulated by cryptocurrency blockchains.