Twitterers defy Chinese censorship, break silence on Tiananmen Square’s ‘Tank Man’June 4th, 2009 - 2:13 pm ICT by ANI
Beijing, June 4 (ANI): Pictures of the lone man standing with two plastic bags confronting several tanks in Beijing’s Tianamen Square in June 1989 are still etched in the memories of most humans, but the “Tank Man’s” (as he was known) efforts and other information about the crackdown are still officially censored in China.
But now, 20 years on, modern technology and the wide reach of social networking sites like Facebook are providing curious students with the information they were previously denied.
“In this, 20 years ago, China strove for democracy and freedom. The government killed our compatriots, university students and citizens,” wrote a woman identifying herself as Bonnie Wong on the Facebook fan site Tank Man, one of several forums that have popped up ahead of the 20th anniversary of the crackdown.
“For 20 years, more than a few have entered the political arena who are the real villains, hypocrites who put on a false show of great peace and bury their consciences in a fiery pit. They control the government, they control media, they hold on to education, they control writing,” wrote another Facebook member who calls himself Jonathan Siew.
The vast majority of Chinese youth show no outward knowledge of what happened 20 years ago, a fact that pains the still-mourning relatives of those who were killed.
“This is a cruel reality - young people do not know the truth,” said Ding Zilin, a retired professor whose 17-year-old son was shot dead that night.
“The government hides the truth from children and keeps it as a sort of forbidden zone. It isn’t taught in classrooms,” he adds.
But in the anonymity of the online world, Internet-savvy youths use mirror sites and proxy servers to explore alternative versions of the official history and to discuss their own frustrations with their government’s clumsy efforts at censorship.
China this week blocked access to Twitter, Bing.com, the photo-sharing Web site Flickr and, briefly, Hotmail. Other sites, including YouTube and blog providers like Blogspot and Wordpress, are routinely barred.
But frequent Twittering and Facebooking from Chinese users on the eve of the June 4 anniversary proved there are many ways around the censors’ efforts. (ANI)
- Court reserves order on Facebook India's plea - May 14, 2012
- First people to reach America were Asians, scientists confirm (The Funny Side) - Jul 27, 2012
- Over 250 websites blocked for triggering northeast panic - Aug 20, 2012
- Over one mn websites closed in China in 2010 - Jul 13, 2011
- Censoring social media curbs free speech, say netizens - Jan 16, 2012
- Facebook, Apple may be balkanising the web - Apr 16, 2012
- Hazare turns blogger; joins Facebook, Twitter - Sep 29, 2011
- Facebook eyeing to re-connect with China? - Dec 23, 2010
- Kim Kardashian: The Most Popular Face Of America - Nov 30, 2010
- China blocks sites ahead of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy anniversary - Jun 03, 2009
- Web content case: No relief to Facebook India (Lead) - May 30, 2012
- Issue summons to Facebook through e-mail: Court - Apr 18, 2012
- Bizarre case of India versus the Internet (Comment) - Jan 29, 2012
- Court dismisses Facebook India plea - May 30, 2012
- Government denies internet censorship, Modi joins protest - Aug 24, 2012
Tags: 20th anniversary, chinese censorship, chinese youth, clumsy efforts, compatriots, consciences, cruel reality, curious students, facebook, fiery pit, great peace, hypocrites, lone man, mirror sites, political arena, proxy servers, social networking sites, tianamen square, tiananmen square, world internet