In an unlikely turn of events, the #MeToo movement in China is now moving to blockchain technology. The movement, that is encouraging women to speak up against their sexual harassment and which has seen wide ranging support from women around the world, has reached China. However, censorship by the Chinese authorities are ring a death bell for it. Therefore, in an unprecedented move of dissent, it is now moving to distributed ledgers to give voice to females who have been harassed at school, home and workplaces.
In an open letter written on Monday, student of the Peking University Yue Xin accused that the officials of the prestigious university tried to silence her revelations about sexual harassment on campus. She wanted to publicly air a sexual harassment episode that happened on the campus more than two decades ago. In her letter, she also stated that college officials tried to muzzle and intimidate her as well. The school also forced her to delete information about the case. The undergraduate student was also reported to her parents who were ordered to confine her at home.
Women like Yue and their open confessions about sexual harassment is getting on the nerves of a country that likes to keep their news secret and where censorship is state sponsored. In this era of strict censorship, gender discrimination is not just commonplace, but also rooted in the social fabric. The country also doesn’t like the public spotlight given to such issues, because of which movements like #MeToo have been suppressed.
It is important to note that the protest is against Peking University, one of the most prestigious in the country and also the alma mater of the top officials of the community party, including Premier Li Keqiang. The letter went viral on several of the social platforms include Sina Corp’s Weibo and Tencent Holding’s WeChat. However, as the post started gaining momentum, it was quickly deleted from everywhere.
It was after this that her memo was stamped into the Ethereum blockchain by supporters on Monday. As DLT creates immutable public ledgers, the letter will now never be deleted or tampered with, no matter how much the authorities hate it. It is still unclear who exactly did this, but the entry was made yesterday. Making this transaction costed the poster only 52 cents.
However, as the memo has become cemented in the blockchain, it won’t still be available for the public user. Anybody who has access to an Ethereum node will be able to see this message. These people will then have to copy the message and post it online. However, the authorities could block the site and it will have to be reposted again.
Issac Mao, entrepreneur from San Francisco building a media platform using blockchain against censorship said, “It’s symbolic but won’t be easily adopted by the public masses. Decentralized media still has miles to go. But it gives people new hope.”
Users are now using blockchain, distorted letters in the images etc. to bypass the tracking software. Meanwhile, this could be the biggest act of protest by students in China and it is likely that such incidents could increase.