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China bans Foursquare over Tiananmen Square visits

Not happy at all
Fri Jun 04 2010, 13:14

THE GLORIOUS People's Republic of China government might have done its people a favour by banning the would-be stalker service Foursquare.

According to various reports and tweets, authorities in the Communist country have banned the service after linking it to the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Media types use Foursquare to show off their active social lives and tell people where they are, sharing their locations with people by ‘checking in’ with a smartphone. The point? You can win points for checking into a location and become the ‘mayor’ of a venue.

It seems that in China the authorities have taken a dim view of people using Foursquare to ‘visit’ Tiananmen Square, showing their solidarity and commemorating the dead.

It is unclear whether this is a permanent or temporary move, but it is just another way for the Chinese authorities to use their Great Firewall technology to suppress web content that they don’t like.

This year has already seen China involved in a much-publicised spat with Google, which decided to stop censoring its search results and leave the Middle Kingdom, redirecting its users to the uncensored pages of its Hong Kong website.

This move won’t really make much difference in the whole scheme of things, but it does show how touchy the Chinese government can be when it comes to its fear of social notworking. µ


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