Feeds

Twitter Yi not, as Beijing bins Bing

Tiananmen-wary China crushes Hotmail and Flickr

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

China today cut citizens' access to MS search engine Bing, Flickr, Hotmail, MSN Spaces and Twitter - just two days before the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

In a move described by the Times as "hardly a co-incidence", the powers that be decided that services such as Twitter, which "allows words or phrases that bring up an automatic ban or block on most internet service providers in China" (for example "6/4" or "June 4"), will not be available to threaten state security.

Blogger Michael Anti, who now operates from outside the motherland, predicted the clampdown when he told China-based blog Danwei.org a few days back: “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.”

He added: “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 information intensity of the Chinese language. 140 Chinese characters can make up all the full elements of a news piece with the '5 Ws' (Who, What, Where, When and HoW). But the joy of the Chinese Twitterland is more fragile, and I hope that it will live longer in this country.”

Sadly not. Local reaction was summed up by noted Chinese blogger Flypig, who decried: “Now the 3 web services I cannot live without - Twitter, Flickr, YouTube - are all blocked in China. Cheers, motherf***ers!” ®

Bootnote

* Not a very impressive claim, it must be said. The Times notes that Chinese fans of "crosstalk" star Guo Degang are likely to be hit hard by the Twitter ban. The master of xiangsheng - a kind of pun-packed quickfire dialogue - is apparently China's equivalent of The Two Ronnies, and his followers use Twitter to share his latest quips. Whether he had some good Tiananmen Square gags brewing we may never know.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.