Chinese netizens are spamming the GitHub repository of the Notepad++ app with pro-Chinese and anti-Western messages after Notepad++ devs released a version codenamed "Free Uyghur" on Tuesday.
Angry Chinese users posted messages in support of their government, accusing westerners of interfering in matters "they don't understand" and that "China's territorial integrity is inviolable."
Messages were posted in Chinese, English, or both -- so the messages "hit home with foreigners."
Initial messages invoked China's right over the Xinjiang region, home of the Uyghur minority.
Over the past year, multiple reports have surfaced about China's appalling treatment of the Uyghur population, with the deployment of facial tracking technology, travel bans, and "re-education" camps from where people often never come back.
But the flooding of the Notepad++ project's GitHub repository with pro-Chinese propaganda messages quickly drew in all the anti-Chinese activists.
Today, discussions on the Notepad++ issues tracker had shifted to all Chinese topics, such as Taiwan's sovereignty, the Hong Kong protests, and the failure of the "western democracy" model -- and especially the "brainwashed western people living under evil capitalism regime [sic]."
With most of the discussions taking a "China vs. the world" theme, other users have also stepped in, and are calling out the hypocrisy of some pro-Chinese commenters who are mocking western democracies while living under a "social credit" system.
Notepad++ developers have been trying to keep pace with all the spam and closing discussions, but new GitHub issues with propaganda messages are being opened every few minutes.
Furthermore, the Notepad++ website also came under a prolonged DDoS attack today. The site recovered after hours of downtime only after being moved behind Cloudflare proxies.
The Notepad++ 7.8.1 release, the one codenamed "Free Uyghur," has not been pulled, and is still available for download. The app's developer explained his motives in naming the release "Free Uyghur" in a blog post published earlier this week. In 2015, the same developer also released a version of the app named after the Tiananmen Square protests.
You can read the hundreds of pro- and anti-Chinese messages in the Notepad++ GitHub issue tracker's closed section.