As China tries to defend its aggressive behaviour against protesting Tibetans – calling them “criminals” and arresting hundreds of people – the regime’s battle against the internet is temporarily successful but ultimately futile. The Times London explains:
YouTube, the video-sharing website which has become a home to amateur footage of news events, has been blocked to Chinese users since Saturday, and there are also reports that the news pages of Yahoo!, the internet portal, have been made inaccessible.
In addition, the entire Guardian website has been closed down as of today, and other sites – including Times Online – have had access to their coverage of recent events in Tibet severely restricted.
Popular sites which assimilate news from different sources – such as Google News – have been subject to what is known as ‘keyword filtering’, where a Chinese internet user attempting to load a page which contains words such as ‘Tibet’ or ‘Dalai Lama’ will see the site stall.
Times Online has also learned that the editors of some of the most popular ‘forum’ – or bulletin board – sites in China have been directly contacted by government officials and told not to publish any content relating to the recent protests.
Flickr, the photo-sharing website, Wikipedia, and the LA Times, the US newspaper, are among the other sites to which access has been cut off.
Despite the best efforts of the regime, images will emerge: