After Celine Dion Performs "Jasmine Flower," Sina Weibo Stops Blocking Related Search Results
On February 9, 2013, Celine Dion performed the Chinese folk song "Jasmine Flower" (茉莉花) on China Central Television's 2013 Spring Festival Gala. Here are translations of some users' posts on Sina Weibo from that night:
What song was just sung on the #New Year's Gala"#? --In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, the performance lyrics have not been displayed."Jasmine Flower" has been a sensitive term since February 2011. The reason for this was that, on the afternoon of February 17, 2011, the following statement began being passed around on Twitter:
If this was in 2011, you would be arrested and sent to re-education through labor for saying "Jasmine Flower."
On February 20, 2011 China Jasmine Flower, on February 20, 2013, Jasmine Flower is sung on the New Year's Gala, we are witnessing history . . . .
Wouldn't you say that in 2011 Jasmine Flower was a banned song? Is it possible the organization has forgotten the Jasmine Flower movement?
The date of the inaugural China "Jasmine Revolution" rally has been set, February 20, 2011 (Sunday), the assembly points for every major city in the country will be announced the day before on the Boxun News website, here's hoping everyone finds out.This screenshot, taken on February 19, 2011, shows that a search on Sina Weibo for "Jasmine Flower" returned no results, just a censorship notice.
On February 19, the locations of the rallies were announced. The Beijing rally was to take place in front of the McDonalds in Wangfujing, a popular shopping district several blocks away from Tiananmen Square. The following screenshots show that Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Wangfujing McDonalds" (王府井 麦当劳) on February 20.
By 2013 Sina Weibo was no longer censoring the above-captioned queries. Nevertheless, queries containing the term "Jasmine Flower" plus certain other terms seeming only returned results from within the preceding several days. The following screenshots show that, within hours after Celine Dion performed "Jasmine Flower" on CCTV, Sina Weibo stopped imposing this block, allowing users to access tens of thousands of previously unsearchable results.
|"Jasmine Flower 2011"|
|"Jasmine Flower Wangfujing"|
|"Jasmine Flower McDonalds"|
These screenshots, taken on February 10, 2013, show Baidu search results for "Jasmine Flower" (no censorship notice), "China Jasmine Flower" (censorship notice saying some search results have not been displayed), and "China Jasmine Revolution" (censorship notice saying no results have been displayed).