How to Use the Database
The database includes material from several different streams of information:
- Reliable, reputable independent media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or Der Spiegel
- Articles from academic journals, penned by experts with experience in the region
- Official Chinese government statements or regulations
- Official Chinese government social media posts
- Chinese government-affiliated media reports or social media posts
- First-hand accounts from individuals traveling in the region
None of these sources has a full and complete picture. They also represent a variety of fact checking practices. Our goal in introducing a range of sources is to capture what is happening in the region, as well as what various stakeholders are reporting as happening in the region.
We have been able to link many of the Chinese social media accounts included here directly with local Chinese governments. For a number of other accounts, including many of those from Meipian, we cannot definitively say that they were posted by Chinese government officials, though a number of them appear to have been tagged as “approved” by officials. In addition, the content of such postings strongly suggests that they were created by individuals with close access to Chinese government campaigns in the region, if not by Chinese government officials themselves.
The database not only offers the factual basis for the events audiences experience during a performance of Everybody Is Gone, but extends to cover many of the facets of the Chinese government’s campaign against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in the region. The database is not a comprehensive listing of every news article ever published about the region, but rather seeks to provide information pertaining to key aspects of this campaign, whether that relates to large-scale internment, religious persecution, or surveillance of people’s day-to-day lives.
Entries in the database are excerpts from longer articles or posts. We have included ellipses (“…”) where text has been excised.