China employs nearly 2 million people to police public opinion on the internet, a significant number of whom devote their time to the popular micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, which has over 500 million users. A visual interactive by investigative journalism outlet ProPublica displays some of the photos and artwork the Chinese government chose to censor from the web.
ProPublica decided to focus on images because their removal necessarily involves the attention of a human censor. While computer algorithms can identify and delete text deemed threatening based on keywords, they cannot interpret the meaning behind images such as political cartoons or a photo of a dissident.
Here is a small sampling of some of the political cartoons, images, speech and satire featured in the interactive: