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People are inevitably vulnerable to manipulation, their memories are of no exception.
When the pandemic started, the government was not ready at all. Poor judgement and slow reaction left countless people in fear and despair. People in Wuhan had no other choice than to turn to the vast internet for help, for a bed in the hospital, for emergency treatment, for economic help, for a place to burry their loved ones. Naturally, there were so many relevant hashtags on Weibo, the biggest social media platform in China.
But recently, as the pandemic, fortunately and thanks to the government’s restriction, everyone’s hard work and also self-discipline of the crowd, dies down in China, people’s life going back to normal, those hashtags are also furtively disappearing. They are deleted, not only by the platform censored by the government, but also by the people who posted them in the first place voluntarily. In an age that civilisations clashes, people are led to believe that leaving such negative information on the internet is a bad influence for the image of out country and a socially condemned “crime” of “lending the anti-China parties a helping hand”.
With the loss of those original information, the base ground of memory shatters. The government, seeing the chance matured, started a propaganda, which is called “building a correct memory of the pandemic time”. As the most strict lockdown in the world sees its positive outcome, the crowd soon started neglecting the pain and unease they themselves had been through, the inefficiency and even corruption of the government in the beginning. Everyone eagerly turns the pages to the next chapter, building a self-esteem toward the outside world.
However, not everyone has moved on. A lot of people expressed their grief for the loss on the internet, some people in Wuhan even tried to build a memorial for their loved ones who passed away. Inevitably, things on the internet are censored and deleted, and the building of the memorial is prohibited. Such negative expressions are considered “only seeing the disaster on a dark side”, which is bad for the harmony of the society as a whole. There was one hashtag called “if anger is not permitted, at least grant us the grief”, which died down after a short time, both voluntarily and reluctantly. Such complex is just a routine for people involved in this country.
This is not a memorial for people who wants to move on. Everyone does, everyone supposedly has. The government is doing a far better job than merely building up a memorial. People are already happy here, that is true. This is a condolence for the reluctant ones, an archive for the lost hashtags deleted both reluctantly and voluntarily, an unease memorial for the not-wrong collective memory.
These memories are not right, but no one can deny that it is still not wrong. If you seek the right memory, go online or onto the street, it’s posted everywhere. If you seek the ones that are not wrong, welcome to the archive.
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