June 4 is the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square protests and the most controversial date of the year in the country. The Chinese government has already brought Google services to a halt as it cracks down on commentaries and reflections of the events in 1989, and most other internet sites are subject to additional censorship too.
Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter, censors its users daily but is particularly busy around this time of the year. Jason Q. Ng, who wrote the book ‘Blocked On Weibo’ and Tumblr blog of the same name, compiled a list of 64 blocked terms for the Wall Street Journal.
We’ve included a dozen words from the list below, you can read the full compendium at the Journal.
- JUNE 4
- 天安门: Tiananmen (simplified characters)
- 坦克: tank
- liu四: phonetic for 6-4
- 学潮: campus upheaval
- ⅥⅣ: Roman numerals for 6-4
- 五月三十五: May 35, aka June 4
- 维多利亚公园: Victoria Park (site of vigil in Hong Kong)
- six quatre: 6-4
- 缅怀: nostalgia—possible reference to Tiananmen Mothers
- 2的6次方: 2 to the power of 6 (that is, 64)
- 烛光: candle-lit (vigil)
In addition, it seems Weibo is preventing users from searching for messages that include the word ‘today’ — how is that for a crackdown?
— William Farris (@wafarris) June 4, 2014
Image via Lionel Bonaventure / Getty Images