China has been struggling lately to keep up with the rapid changes and ever-increasing amount of novelties in the digital land in the form of the legal challenges these ‘premieres’ present.
To the shock of many but to the anticipation of some, the popular Twitter has met in this country a similar unfortunate fate as YouTube. Michael Anti, a Chinese blogger and former New York Times researcher, had seen this coming: “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.”
According to Alice Xin Liu (in a Danwei post), Chinese net sensors have blocked Twitter. Michael Anti underlined some differences with respect to the Chinese Twitterland vs. the English one – the former being funnier than the latter because “a Chinese tweet can have three times the volume of an English tweet, thanks to the high information intensity of the Chinese language.” He further noted that “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.”
Well, his fears have materialized with the new censorship that swallowed Twitter as well.
The list of services Chinese authorities have outlawed goes further including: Flickr, Bing, the new Microsoft search engine, “probably for autoplaying Youtube videos when you put your mouse over them,” Live and Hotmail.
There’s a China Digital Times post listing the websites whose access has been blocked by Baidu.