The Internet was supposed to foster democracy. China has different ideas.

Wen Tao has been saying what he thinks on China’s booming social-media outlets for the best part of a decade.His forthright views have won him tens of thousands of followers, but his criticism of the authorities has also come at a cost: He says his social-media accounts have been closed down about 20 times, and he has been bombarded with curses, personal insults and death threats from other social-media users.

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