Jane Macartney reports in the Times from Beijing:
Two days before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, China’s censors moved today to limit the access of the country’s increasingly tech-savvy population to vast swathes of the internet.
The first victims were the rising population of tweeters, who use the micro-blogging service Twitter as a platform for humour — often scatological — and political comment.
Then the popular photo-posting service Flickr disappeared, as did the Hotmail e-mail service and Microsoft’s new search engine, Bing. The blocks did not stop there, however: MSN Spaces also disappeared
The timing is scarcely a coincidence. Thursday marks the 20th anniversary of the entry of the People’s Liberation Army into Beijing on June 4 1989 to crush seven weeks of student-led demonstrations centred in Tiananmen Square.
Those on Twitter who are not behind blocks, or who have found ways to circumvent them, are reacting to the cut-off via the hashtags (analogous to blog tags) #fuckgfw, and now, #caogfw. According to several tweets, Wikipedia has also been blocked. However, this has not been confirmed.
Danwei is also noting which sites are getting blocked. Additionally, read their interview with Michael Anti, a Chinese journalist who came into international spotlight after his Spaces blog was deleted by Microsoft in 2005. In the interview from May 27, Anti predicts that Twitter would one day get blocked.
Twitter is a new thing in China. The censors need time to figure out what it is. So enjoy the last happy days of twittering before the fate of Youtube descends on it one day.
By the way, I want to point out that the Chinese Twitterland is funnier than the English one, for a Chinese tweet can have three times the volume of an English tweet, thanks to the high
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