China Blocks… Pretty Much Everything


It’s amazing that in these troubling times filled with economic uncertainty and unbridled social woe, the petty-minded governments of various countries still manage to find the time and resources to censor media outlets in order to protect their citizenry from the corrupting influence of free speech.

Iran briefly blocked access to Facebook, ahead of its June presidential elections. China has upped the ante by blocking, amongst others, Twitter, Flickr and Hotmail. Even Microsoft’s newly unveiled bing search engine hasn’t been spared. The ongoing media blackout occurs ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre this Thursday (June 4).

Other media outlets that have been censored in part or in whole, include the Huffington Post, BBC News, and MSN Spaces, with pages being ripped out of the Financial Times and Economist.

Of more relevance to this site, is the fact that Twitter is huge in China, and was in fact among the first services to be blocked. I’ve always thought that Twitter catered to a somewhat ‘tween-y’ niche (Stephen Fry notwithstanding) so it was surprising to learn that Twitter gained prominence in China because tweets were able to slip through the Great Firewall without triggering automated censors. Twitter is just another example of an internet service having unanticipated uses, and how people will always find ways to get their glee.

The rest of us should treasure our freedom of access, while we still can.

Sources: BBC, Reuters, The Telegraph via Wired. “Tank man” photo by Jeff Widener, AP via Wikipedia.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. If you are shopping on Amazon anyway, buying from our links gives Gear Diary a small commission.

About the Author

Gear Diary Staff
Gear Diary was founded on September 30, 2006, with the goal to create a website that would not easily be labeled. Everyone who is part of Gear Diary is a professional who uses technology in their work and daily lives. On this site, we share our enthusiasm while exploring the gear we use — the equipment that makes our lives easier, more entertaining, more productive, and more manageable. Our hope is that Gear Diary visitors find this site to be a welcoming, friendly, and accessible place to learn about and discuss interesting topics — and not only those that are tech-related! Gear Diary is a place to discover and explore all kinds of new gear, including smartphones, computers, kitchen gadgets, Toys, EDC, camping gear, or even your next new car! You can follow us on Twitter @GearDiarySite.