China has found a strangely appropriate way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which is two days away–by clamping down on the internet.
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.
For those too young to recall the events, while intellectually we probably realized it wouldn’t last, emotionally we had hope after weeks of demonstrations in Tiananmen Square that China was actually becoming more tolerant with regards to dissent and demands for democracy. Then the tanks came in.