The internet is meant to be a “free” place, but however it seems that in countries such as China, not so much as the government has been known to heavily police the internet, at least on their side of things where they track its users and censor content online that it believes is detrimental to the ruling government.
Recently it seems that China’s internet censors have gone as far as banning the letter “N”, in which it seems that the government was trying to crack down on online discussion over the Chinese Communist Party’s proposal to remove presidential term limits. At the moment the limit is set at two terms, with five years for each term. However the proposal wants to remove those limits, in which turn could potentially allow the currently President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely.
Naturally this did not sit well with some netizens who took to platforms such as Weibo and WeChat to protest. This resulted in a variety of terms like “emigrate”, “lifelong”, and “I disagree” to be banned, but what was odd was the letter “N”. Apparently this is because N is used in China as an equivalent of what we use “X” for in algebra, which in turn led censors to be concerned that perhaps it could be used in the context of “N terms in office”.
Perth-based China blogger CA Yeung also suggested that N could stand be “infinity”, which once again could be used to talk about Xi Jinping’s rule, while Twitter user Kasumi Shen said that “N” could be used to represent “No”. However the ban of the letter “N” was only temporary and lasted a day before it was lifted.