While back in Pakistan, I was busy with the Cyclone threat from Phet that had been building up, China found itself blocking yet another website. This time it is the ever growing Foursquare and the reason for the block is Tiananmen Square.
The ban was initiated on June 4 as the the country was set to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the event when 3,000 protesters, which included students were massacred by the Chinese government. According to the law in the communist state, it is forbidden to discuss about the incident in the country and the Internet is to obey the same rules. The censoring of the site is not a new one, given that even Google obeyed the country’s law and kept search results in strict compliance to the government. Even access to Twitter was blocked last year for the same reasons.
I am just wondering to what extent can China or any other country restrict access to the information on the Internet? We saw the same happening in Pakistan last month as the authorities blocked access to over 800 sites, including YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia over the blasphemous cartoon controversy. How many sites can they actually block? Especially given the fact that the social networks have become a really essential part of everyone’s life and the information that is being shared across these is enormous. As the information gets more spread out, censoring anything online would only become a more difficult job for authorities and what they are trying to keep away from public would find its way to the masses. I can only wish them luck with this dictatorial methods.