Two Popular “Rubao” YouTube Channels Permanently Suspended
“Rubao culture” is a popular satirical genre that ridicules Xi Jinping and the CCP. The perpetrators told Bitter Winter that they would continue to fight.
by Chen Tao
Xiaofanqi (小反旗) and Xiaochitang (小池塘), two influential Chinese political dissident YouTube channels that were popular among Zoomers, were permanently suspended by YouTube on February 13, claiming they violated YouTube’s Terms of Service. Following the incident, the owners of the chains had appealed for an explanation and the recovery of their chains in multiple unsuccessful attempts. Amid suspicions of intended dismissal, they decided to take further action.
These two channels are known as the mouthpiece of Rubao (辱包文化) culture, a form of political satire used to express criticism and disapproval of Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is usually assembled using various materials – edited video footage, speeches, public statements by CCP leaders, original artwork, etc. However, the CCP has criminalized all activities and content related to Rubao, based on its usual strategy of protecting the image of its leaders and harsh censorship of speech.
“It’s not the first time we’ve been harassed,” Delta, a member of the team that manages the two chains, told us. According to Delta, the channels had received numerous copyright infringement protests filed by several Chinese entities in the past. Ahead of the Rubao Lunar New Year festival slated for February, channels received 18 copyright strikes, all requested by Chinese entities. “I believe all of these requests were made with the malicious intent to silence us,” Delta told Bitter Winter.
The channels had successfully defended all previous counter-notification cases by applying the concept of fair use under US copyright law, Sec. 107, but this time YouTube gave the Delta team no chance to defend their work. Delta suspects that the Rubao Festival was the cause since it would have been a major explosion of Rubao publications. “The CCP aspires to eliminate all dissent to ensure favorable public opinion on Xi Jinping’s next 5-year term,” Delta concluded.
Another member, Christopher D., explained his concerns about the incident. “It’s an extremely sensitive time in China right now, but we didn’t expect his (CCP) arm to reach us as we act from outside the Great Firewall,” he said. he said, “and now I fear the worst for activists like us.” Despite his concern, he stressed that they will not give ground to YouTube and its possible manipulator, the CCP.”They tried to drive what they wanted into people’s minds through a propaganda campaign. massive, and we bring them down by telling people the truth,” he told Bitter Winter, “don’t underestimate our work here. There is tremendous power in laughter when terror overshadows us all.
Asked by Bitter Winter about their plans for the next move, Christopher said Rubao activists would launch a campaign to gain public attention and support in the United States. They also plan to send petitions to US politicians asking for an independent congressional investigation into possible collaboration with a foreign totalitarian regime and YouTube management’s violation of the First Amendment.
“Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We categorically oppose anything that is contrary to democracy, freedom, human rights and all universal values, and we have a battle to win in the Beacon of Liberty,” Christopher commented. “And this interview is our declaration of war.”