This Thursday marks twenty years since China's military ended the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democratic demonstrations by killing off hundreds of students, workers, and ordinary civilians. It's fitting, then, that in celebration of the anniversary, the government is once again curbing free speech. Censors have been at it for weeks, but now they've even begun cutting citizens off from Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail, and Microsoft's live.com.
China is of course no stranger to political censorship, but this is the first time that the government has targeted Twitter. Why Twitter, why now? It's because several prominent political activists have taken to posting there after getting blocked from Chinese chat sites and blogs.
And it's not just the online world that's being censored; newspapers have also been dealt their fair share of funny business. The South China Morning Post, for example, recently saw a mysterious decrease in its distribution on the mainland. As for the International Herald Tribune, a page from an article on the Dalai Lama went missing from copies of last weekend's edition.
It doesn't stop there. In recent days, government officials have also detained individuals, including one man who complained about the economic troubles that have visited him and other Tiananmen demonstrators in the years since they were jailed. His open letter to the government had barely been public for an hour when officials came to take him away.
I think China has the right idea. Twitter is for shallow people with no lives that constantly need somebody to talk to. I believe twitter has 12 million followers and in my eyes, 12 million people need a fricking life. All these people are are social whores and they should spend their twitter/myspace/flickr/facebook/whatever crap site focusing on bettering their lives and maybe their careers rather than just dumbing themselves down and becoming more ignorant by the second.
I can almost guarrantee I just pissed off a ton of losers out there. Get a life!
Well, you are certainly entitled to your own opinions, "Infamous", but you do not have freedom of speech when you put down others to build your own self esteem. You did not piss off users of social networking sites by knocking their lifestyle, but you pissed them/us off by thinking you're god and have the authority to make fun of others.
Talk about getting a life, eh? Take a look in a mirror.
(Hey POPSCI mods, can you please remove this guy's account? He's stinking up the place with his self righteous bullshit)
imfamous you're spot on. people who go on social sites the whole day are actually losers. no wonder companies end up blocking that rubbish. i'm sure those are the same people who watch Jerry Springer and Oprah...
Let's see: people complaining about a social network site revolving on miniature postings... by placing their own miniature postings... in the comment section of an article on censorship.
If I have to say anything else to explain the inherent hypocrisy, then I have sorely overestimated human intellignece.
hmm, well qlmmb2086 has already succinctly pointed out what i would have. i could add however that infamous could spend more time learning how to spell "guarantee" correctly instead of enlightening the world with his asinine thoughts.
Asinine is a wonderful word.
Thanks for pointing out this issue. Can I suggest that Popular Science establish a presence on Twitter? It's a great way to share science-related stories. Surprised I can't find ya'll on there.