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China Blocks Social Networking Sites, Seeking Tiananmen Damage Control

Hispanic Business, Posted: Jun 03, 2009

In what's been called the "Great Firewall of China," Beijing has blocked nearly a dozen Western Internet sites and search engines in advance of the 20th anniversary Thursday of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, reports Hispanic Business. Chinese users' access to the social networking service Twitter was barred across mainland China Tuesday. Other sites reportedly blocked include Hotmail, Flickr, Blogger, Livejournal, Tumblr, the Huffington Post, Microsoft's MSN Space blog tool, and its new search engine Bing. YouTube was blocked in March after Tibetan activists reportedly posted video clips.

On June 4, 1989, tanks entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing to halt weeks-long protests by students and workers. Events to mark the anniversary are illegal in China, but crowds have gathered annually in Hong Kong for a vigil. Reuters reported that this year there were calls on the Internet for a re-evaluation of the protests, which may have led to the blackout.

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