Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sina Weibo's Censorship of the 24th Anniversary of the Government's June 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown


Both the China Digital Times and Citizenlab have posted extensive lists of words censored by Sina Weibo relating to the government's crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. Below are some screenshots illustrating Sina's censorship.

See here for examples of how Baidu censored information about what happened in June 1989.

Censorship of the Place it Happened

These screenshots show that on June 4, 2013, the 24th anniversary of the crackdown, Sina Weibo censored "Tiananmen" (天安门) and "TAM" (and stopped censoring those terms the following day).


Censorship of What Happened

These screenshots show Sina Weibo also started censoring "Tanks" (坦克) and "Massacre" (屠杀).




Censorship of When it Happened

These screenshots show Sina Weibo began censoring "Six Four" (六四),  "VIIIIXVIIV" (roman numerals for "8," "9," "6," and "4"), and "24th Anniversary" (24周年).




The screenshots below show that on June 4, 2013 Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "89," "63+1," "65-1," and "1989" in Chinese (一九八九).

Censorship of Who Made it Happen

The screenshots below show that on June 4, 2013 Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Wang Weilin" (王维林 - the name of the man photographed standing in front of the tanks), "Cui Jian" (崔健 - a Chinese musician who played a concert during the protests), "Hu Yaobang" (胡耀邦 - Communist Party leader whose death triggered the protests), and Chen Xitong (陈希同 - mayor of Beijing at the time of the protests who died on June 2, 2013).



Censorship of Reminders That Anything Happened

These screenshots show that Sina Weibo began censoring "Wear a Black Shirt" (穿黑衫) in the run up to June 4, 2013, and stopped censoring it shortly thereafter.


These screenshots show that on June 4, 2013 Sina Weibo was censoring searches for  "Remembrance" (纪念), "Reassess" (平反), "Light a Candle" (点蜡烛), and "A Piece of Red Cloth" (一块红布 - a song played by Cui Jian at Tiananmen Square).



These screenshots show that on June 4, 2013 Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Tomorrow" (明天), "Today" (今天), "Tonight" (今晚), and "This evening" (今夜).


Preparing for Next Year

This screenshot shows that Sina Weibo is already censoring searches for "25th Anniversary" (25周年).

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...