• Search for prized fungus a way of life on Tibetan Plateau.

Search for prized fungus a way of life on Tibetan Plateau. (Photo : Getty Images)

After the travel ban imposed by the Chinese government to attend the Kalachakra initiation given by the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya, search words on Tibetan Buddhism have been banned on WeChat.

The policing online was reported by the Munk School of Global Affairs and stated that Kalachakra related keywords were banned from WeChat. The ban applies to users with Chinese phone numbers.

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According to the report, "Censorship of keywords is not transparent and no notice is given to a user if their message is blocked. A message with a keyword that is blocked simply does not appear."

The report also stated that there was a "higher level of keyword blocking' on group chats, which could be due to nature of the 'semi-public sphere of online discussion groups."

Typing keywords like "Dalai Lama" and "Kalachakra" that are sent individually would not get banned. However, keywords combination of "Kalachakra," "Dalai Lama" and "Tibetan" is blocked without any notice.

The report revealed: "The blocking of Kalachakra related keywords demonstrates that censorship on WeChat is dynamic and keyword lists are updated in response to current events. The communication blockage on WeChat, shows that the restrictions on the Tibetans offline are mirrored online."

The Chinese government refuses to recognize the practice of the Kalachakra. Many Buddhists would travel illegally to Tibet.

"Taking advantage of the presence of the Dalai Lama, the Kalachakra teachings have inveigled Tibetans into illegally going abroad over the last decade," Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the Ethnic and Religious Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

China also refuses to recognize the sovereignty of Tibet because China claims that Tibet became a part of China during the Yuan Dynasty.