In China, “404” means April 4, which is Ching Ming Festival or Memorial Day when people pay reverence of one’s ancestors in Chinese culture. Meanwhile it also means a webpage is deleted and “not found.” It often happens when words or content that are not liked by the authorities are deleted as soon as they are posted online. On April 4, while leaders in Beijing gathered together to mourn the death of the 2019 coronavirus disease, Chinese netizens were also commemorating the “404” on the internet. In addition to mourning the dead, they posted articles and comments criticizing the authorities’ act of covering up the truth and blocking comments on the internet. There were many commemorations and criticisms of the government appeared on the Internet while the authorities were busy deleting such postings at the same time.
On Sina Weibo, Chinese netizens expressed their helplessness and anger in a joking tone. Some people said: “It felt like a large-scale 404 site, and none of the postings I saw last night are still there.” “LOL(Laugh out loud)… complaining about 404 will indeed bring us 404.” Others have criticized: “If there was no 404, the flag wouldn’t be half way on April 4, nor will there be lock down and isolations, humanitarian tragedies, and economic crises all over the world.”
There are only a few articles left on the internet that are too late to be deleted or re-posted. Some people refused to follow the Chinese Communist Party officials to pay silence on this day because “I don’t like to have a special permission or to be arranged to show sadness. I think most people won’t Like it. ”
Another article stated that “On this day, please forgive me for not to participate. I don’t think this is a suitable time for the public ceremony. The epidemic is not over yet. There is still the possibility of more death from the epidemic. This feels like a unilateral announcement of a ceasefire when we don’t even know who is winning. This posting has been deleted since.
Source: Central News Agency, April 4, 2020