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News in brief: Beijing bans Pooh; Ashley Madison offers settlement; patient data shared on Facebook

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

Your daily round-up of some of the other stories in the news

Beijing bans mentions of Winnie the Pooh

We’ve written quite a bit on China’s ongoing moves to clamp down on internet use, but the latest move from Beijing has really raised eyebrows: now Winnie the Pooh has been censored.

The FT reported at the weekend that mentions of the portly bear had been censored on Sina Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, while WeChat, the ubiquitous messaging app, had removed Pooh animated gifs from the platform. That’s because China’s president, Xi Jingping, has been unflatteringly compared to the short, tubby bear in the past, said observers.

One suggested that “talking about the president” has been deemed too sensitive in the run-up to the Communist party’s congress in the autumn. Qiao Mu at Beijing University told the FT: “Historically, two things have been not allowed: political organising and political action. But this year, a third has been added to the list: talking about the president.”

Sina Weibo users who tried to post the bear’s name received the message “content is illegal”.

Ashley Madison victims offered settlement

Users of the Ashley Madison website whose personal details were stolen in the 2015 breach have been offered a share in a settlement of $11.2m by the owner of the site, Ruby Life.

Hackers who attacked the site and stole 33m people’s details including names, addresses, dates of birth and sexual preferences dumped the cache of stolen data online, exposing millions of users.

Ruby Life said it will “contribute $11.2m to a settlement fund, which will provide, among other things, payments to a settlement class members who submit valid claims for alleged losses resulting from the data breach and alleged misrepresentations as described further in the proposed settlement agreement”.

Researcher posts patient data in Facebook update

Data breaches aren’t always the result of malicious attacks by hackers, as a researcher at a British hospital reminded us when he accidentally leaked the personal data of women who had given birth via a careless post on Facebook.

Luigi Carbone, who was studying pre-eclampsia detection in pregnant women, was taking advantage of a heatwave to work in the sunshine, posting a picture of his laptop on Facebook to show that he was outside, reported the Daily Mirror.

Clearly visible on the laptop screen were the personal details of 31 women who had given birth at the North Middlesex University Hospital, and, because his post wasn’t restricted to his friends, it was visible to everyone on Facebook – for more than a week. It was taken down after the social media team at the hospital spotted the post.

The moral of the story is: be careful about what you share on social media.

Catch up with all of today’s stories on Naked Security


“That’s because China’s premier, Xi Jingping, has been unflatteringly compared to the short, tubby bear in the past, said observers.”

Xi Jingping is the president, not premier of China. He is correctly referenced in the rest of the section.


Fixed, thanks.

Many UK writers use the term “premier” (with a lower-case P) as a general way of saying “the head of the country”. This is because the UK doesn’t have any official government position called Premier. So you will sometimes hear the UK Prime Minister referred to as “the premier”, because she’s in charge.

This can be confusing even in other Anglophone (and formerly British) countries such as Australia, Canada and South Africa, where each State or Province has its own Premier, as well as the country having a PM or President. Indeed, a Premier cannot also be the PM or President – you can only be a member of one legislature at a time :-)


users who tried to post … received the message “content is illegal”.


In truly free nations, it’s temptingly easy to lose oneself lamenting over Crisis-Du-Jour. However in the spirit of Carl Sagan’s commentary on the Pale Blue Dot, it’s good to take a step back and observe how it could be far worse–and be grateful that many things are still magnificent.

Kate, thanks for the reminder that for all our imperfections, we’ve got it pretty good. Happy Tuesday.


Thanks, Bryan, good to know that this story hit the spot for you. It did with me, too, which is why I ran it. Things are long way from perfect in the west, but we can at least be openly critical of politicans when it’s deserved.


“… women who had given birth via a careless post on Facebook”.

I knew Facebook is promiscuous (at least with subscribers’ data), but I didn’t know it went *that* far!


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