Twitter, Bing Banned in Beijing

No social networking ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

By Scott Budman
|  Tuesday, Jun 2, 2009  |  Updated 3:00 PM EDT
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Twitter, Bing Banned in Beijing

AP

Great Wall, indeed: Social Networking websites banned in China.

You can't Bing in Beijing.  Or Twitter in Tiananmen.  No Hotmail in Hangzhou.  No Flickr in Foshan.

Two days ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the protests in Tiananmen Square, China is cracking down on social networking and search sites.  It's not by any stretch the first time China has limited computer access to (and from) the outside world.  YouTube has been blocked for months, and Blogger.com was also taken off list of useable websites.

To be fair, Chinese internet users often use the local sites to chat, but Twitter has become hugely popular there, much in the same viral way it's become huge here.  That has government officials worried, perhaps because while the local services are closely monitored, Twitter rips its tweets across the world faster than you can say "Where's Biz?"

Meanwhile, the beat goes on.  China has long been known to be closed to the rise of the internet.  The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy -based in Hong Kong- says thousands of message boards on websites that have links to Universities have been shut down. That speaks volumes about a country that we thought might change its ways during the Olympics. 

Perhaps not.  It would be great to learn more about this, via some politically active, concerned Chinese citizen.  Just don't expect to pick it up on your Twitter account.  Or search for it on Bing. Or see the photos on Flickr.

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