China blocks Twitter in response to riots
BEIJING - The Chinese authorities have imposed a nationwide block on Twitter following the outbreak of large-scale ethnic rioting in Xinjiang province, with widely read media industry blog Danwei also apparently blocked.
However, industry sources have noted that die-hard Twitter users are able to continue posting updates via iTweet.net, which has not been affected by the restrictions.
The reason behind the crackdown remains unconfirmed. All we can assume is that some chatter was quite sensitive, and that this is an effort to moderate, or ‘harmonise’, the online space, said Mathew McDougall, group chief executive and chairman of SinoTech Group.
McDougall added that major search engines and other social networking sites appeared to be operating as normal, in contrast to the blanket censorship of sites that occurred around last month’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Access to Twitter and Danwei has been barred since yesterday afternoon. The rioting, initiated by Muslim Uygurs in the regional capital Urumqi, is understood to have left at least 140 dead.
Twitter and other foreign websites, including Flickr and Microsoft's Bing search engine, were blocked for several days last month during the Tiananmen Square anniversary.
This article was first published on Media Asia
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