China Blocks Tiananmen Square Searches On 23rd Anniversary

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On the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising, China has censored search terms related to the crackdown. Banned search terms include the Chinese translations of “23,” “six four,” “never forget” and according to some,”today,” the BBC reports. China’s government has a track record of blotting out search terms related to politically sensitive topics, which has led Chinese political activists to express themselves on microblogging platforms like Sina Weibo using representative metaphors and images. As censor-defying memes for protest are getting more popular, the government is getting better at spotting them and snuffing them out too–the candle emoticon, usually used to mourn deaths on Weibo, is also blocked today. Google, which has long opposed the China government on the subject of search engine censorship last week, announced a new feature that would alert users when search terms they entered were censored. Chinese search engines like Baidu are previously “sanitized” for sensitive information, but since Google’s servers are out of reach, their service is simply disrupted when a banned search term is entered, the New York Times explains. 

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