John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Millions of Chinese Twitter Users Suddenly Unaware That I Dislike Ramen

Many people have a false impression that the Chinese government fears the Internet. In fact, it is just the opposite.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang

twitter-bird-dead

If China wants to correct the “false impression” that it fears the Internet, ending its paranoid blocking of Web services would be a good place to start. This morning, Beijing extended the Great Firewall of China, restricting Internet access to Twitter, Flickr, Hotmail and Bing, among others. As confirmation of this, Herdict–a Harvard University site that monitors Internet accessibility–shows a spike in reports claiming that Twitter is inaccessible in China this morning.

The Wall Street Journal’s China Journal reports similarly.

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The move–presumably part of the Chinese government’s efforts to censor media ahead of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre this Thursday–was more an inevitability than anything else. Like YouTube and blogging services WordPress and Blogger, Twitter provides Chinese citizens with an outlet for dissent and self-expression, things for which the Chinese government has a profound distaste.

So, it comes as little surprise that the repressive government in Beijing has blocked it. It did the same thing to YouTube back in March.

“It’s just part of life here,” said Beijing-based Twitterer Kaiser Kuo. “If anything surprises me, it’s that it took them so long.” 

I have a request for comment in to Twitter and will update if/when I hear back.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald