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Southeast Asia, explained

Bersih protest coverage: too hot for Malaysia?

A tale of two BBC feeds: before and after censorship

A street movement challenging "dirty politics" in Malaysia -- which flies under the name "Bersih" or "clean" -- ended as expected on Saturday. There were brief detainments and riot cops firing tear gas but, for the most part, big crowds of protesters peacefully marching for reform.

(An article I filed in the run up to the protests examines the influence of both Tahrir Square and racial politics on the Bersih phenomenon.)

All that street drama, however, may have proven too intense for government censors.

Here's a YouTube video that compares a full BBC report on the protests with the feed that appeared in Malaysia.

You'll see that the Malaysian feed is scrubbed of scenes that are both dramatic and fairly tame. Footage of a motorcycle cop buzzing a crowd and a fire truck hosing down protesters is missing. So is a vanilla quote from a professor saying "We want the election commission to be independent and clean."

In fairness, we can't verifiy the video's authenticity, though the YouTube account (ouaisetalors) has posted a full clip of the Malaysian TV feed to bolster his or her claims.

Regardless, it's very popular. The clip, as of Monday's wee hours EST, is up to more than 291,000 views.

http://www.globalpost.com/globalpost-blogs/southeast-asia/bersih-coverage