Social media and the web as a whole are becoming more and more important nowadays, especially when it comes to spreading information and starting social movements across the world. This has been the case multiple times in the recent years, with movements to fight for equality, for underprivileged groups, political engagements and fights for the environment starting online and spreading through social media. As these online campaigns grow significantly, new tools are found by activists to make them more efficient and gain more traction. This is the case in China, where the ethereum blockchain is being used by #MeToo activists, which is a campaign where users share their stories about sexual assault and abuse.
It all started when a student at Beijing’s Peking University, Yue Xin, decided to talk about the story of a student who was sexually assaulted by a professor in the past at the university. Even though the story happened years ago, the university attempted to silence the student, which enraged others and started a social movement in China. In response to the censorship they faced, activists have started using the ethereum blockchain to talk about the sexual harassment episode. Yue’s letter has been posted and “engraved” on the ethereum blockchain so that school officials or the government could not delete it or tamper with it. This is a new approach to censorship and it has proven to work in the nation. Activists have taken the streets and students have protested on campus as a result of the story being spread on the blockchain.
In a country where censorship, government control and denial of free speech has been a big issue in the past, the decentralized ledger offers a new means of communication and allows activists to spread important messages that can’t be shut down or deleted by the government. It brings new hope to the young student activists in China and around the world. We can safely assume that future movements in the country will use one of the blockchains as a powerful way to spread information and bring people together behind a common cause. The question that remains is how will governments across the world react to information being spread on the blockchain? What actions will be taken in China against the student activists?
TLDR: In China, a university student has attempted to voice the story of a sexual assault episode that happened years ago but was silenced by her university. As a result, student activists are now using the ethereum blockchain to spread her open missive, which has created a wave of solidarity and protests across the country.