China Censors Internet Searches for Tiananmen Massacre

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – If you happen to be in China and are trying to research info related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, you could find yourself hitting a roadblock. According to a report from the BBC, attempting to use the country’s search engine to search key terms  on the event results in zero hits. Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the pro-democracy protests that possibly resulted in thousands of deaths.

Key terms resulting in no hits included “23”, “never forget”, “six four” and “candle.”

In addition to that, the report also indicated that Chinese blogging site Sina Wiebo had censored candle emoticons commonly used to remember the clash between pro-democracy protestors and government forces.

While China may prefer to forget the protests, the event was marked more openly worldwide in countries including the United States. “We encourage the Chinese government to release all those still serving sentences for their participation in the demonstrations; to provide a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing; and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families,” read a release put in by the U.S. Department of State.

Censorship is unfortunately common in China. A high number of popular websites including Facebook, YouTube and are blocked in the country. “Today’s anniversary is one of those ‘red line’ topics that are always subject to a high degree of scrutiny,” commented Duncan Clark of investment advisory firm BDA China in the BBC report.