Winnie the Pooh banned from social media in China

Oh bother, the censors are at it again.

In rather strange news coming out of China, the communist government has banned the portly, lovable bear, Winnie the Pooh, on social media sites, according to the BBC.

This comes as online bloggers have compared China’s President Xi Jinping to the A.A. Milne character.

For Westerners, it is a strange proclamation, considering Pooh’s status as a heartwarming personality from children’s literature.

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Nonetheless, reports indicate that the bear has in fact been shown alongside President Xi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was reportedly being compared to Winnie the Pooh on social media sites.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was reportedly being compared to Winnie the Pooh on social media sites.

(Michael Sohn/AP)

Users on the popular messaging app WeChat — along with other sites — found that gif images of Pooh and his group of friends were removed, TheWrap reports.

Users on the Twitter-like site Weibo also found that the Chinese name for Pooh was searchable, but photos of him were not.

Splitter images comparing President Xi with Milne’s characters date back to at least 2014, when the Chinese leader shook hands with Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. The reception was not received so well in the blogosphere — and so photos emerged of President Xi as Pooh and Abe as Eeyore.

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As the BBC points out, the Pooh comparison was furthered when President Xi poked his head out of his Red Flag limousine to inspect troops. A photo appeared of Pooh emerging from a small car.

For usage credit please use; �Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

Social media searches of the Chinese word for Pooh come up empty in China, after images surfaced comparing President Xi to the likable children’s character. Here, Pooh is shown alongside his trusted friend Rabbit.

The call to remove Pooh from well-trafficked social media sites appears to be a maneuver from the government to halt all associations between the Chinese leader — who holds the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party, President of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission — and a fictional character.

It is enforced by Chinese authorities, who reportedly punch certain keywords into blocking mechanisms to eliminate discussion, BBC writes.

This fall, the Community Party Congress will meet — an event that occurs every five years and appoints a new seven-member Politburo Standing Committee. It also marks the beginning of President Xi’s second term — in a nation whose recent “convention” is two-term governance.

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According to the BBC, the removal of Pooh on social media could be related to the leader’s intention to crack down on opposition leading into the Congress.

xi jinping

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