On October 13, 2017, Kimberly Yam wrote a piece in the Arts & Culture section at Huffington Post in which she discussed Ai Weiwei’s documentary “Human Flow,” a work on the global refugee crisis that Ai told the site was “a message to the Trump administration.” Yam’s piece ran under the headline: “Ai Weiwei Believes The U.S. Has Hit A Low When It Comes To Human Rights.”

Today, almost two weeks later, Hung Huang (洪晃), the well-known television host, author and publisher of iLook fashion magazine, posted an image of the Huffington Post piece on Weibo with the simple words, “Ai Weiwei says the United States has serious human rights problems.”

One might suppose that such a post would be welcomed considering that China generally goes out of its way to attack the human rights record of the United States. Releasing its own retaliatory report in 2016, for example, China said: “Since the US government refuses to hold up a mirror to look at itself, it has to be done with other people’s help.”

So why was the Ai Weiwei post from a prominent Weibo user — Hung Huang has more than 11 million fans on the platform — not permitted? The answer, of course, is the sensitivity of Ai Weiwei himself, who has been a frequent critic of human rights in China. This made Hung’s post a potential flashpoint for discussion of human rights that could get out of hand.

By “other people’s help,” the Chinese Communist Party is referring to itself. Hung’s post was deleted after around 40 minutes.

 

USER: Hong Huang (洪晃ilook)
DATE OF POST: October 26, 2017,14:10:48
APPROXIMATE TIME OF REMOVAL: October 26, 2017,14:54:56
CONTENT: 

Ai Weiwei says the United States has serious human rights problems. http://t.cn/R2d27p6 ​

#晃剪报# 艾未未说美国人权问题很严重。 http://t.cn/R2d27p6 ​