China made a bizarre, Communist-style anthem to celebrate Internet censorship

As strange as it seems, the Chinese government has commissioned a rousing, Communist-style anthem about its severely censored Internet.

China, where a Great Firewall filters out basic sites like Gmail and Twitter for its nearly 1.4 billion citizens, has declared its sanitized online connection “like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts,” in what the New York Times says “can only be described as a semiofficial anthem.”

The song, magnanimously titled Cyberspace Spirit, was created for the year’s Lunar New Year Internet Media Celebration and performed on Tuesday. It seems to have slipped past the West’s attention until it was written about in China’s Youth Daily.

While the lyrics are largely filled with lofty, vague references that don’t seem to have much to do with any aspect of the Internet—much less censorship in particular—the chorus at least hints at being online. Translated by the Times, it goes:

An Internet power: Where the Internet is, so is the glorious dream.
An Internet power: From the distant cosmos to the missing home.
An Internet power: Tell the world that the Chinese Dream is uplifting China.
An Internet power: I represent my nation to the world.

There you have it. Forcing people to use VPNs to tweet—such is the glorious dream.

Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III

Kevin Collier

Kevin Collier

A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.