Skip to main content

The Great Firewall of China was doing its job again this week, preventing Chinese Internet users from accessing information deemed threatening to the Communist regime.

In the past, on the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen massacre, Chinese authorities would thwart Web surfers from searching words related to the date of the bloody incident.

This time, officials blocked visuals and most news items related to the enormous pro-democracy protests unfolding in Hong Kong.

For people with access to Google, typing "Hong Kong protest" in simplified Chinese characters (香港抗议) into Google News, they would get the following results.

The results give prominent place to articles and liveblogs in Chinese from the BBC, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, with photos of massive crowds and clouds of tear gas.

However, Google is blocked by Chinese authorities. People in China typing "Hong Kong protest" in simplified Chinese characters (香港抗议) on the news feed of the Baidu search engine would get instead business stories on the negative impact of protests on the economy, with no details or photos to give readers a sense of the scale of the demonstrations.

The difference is even more striking when using "umbrella revolution" as a search term ("雨伞革命).

On Google News, the result is more than 6,000 items with photos of tear-gassed crowds.

On Baidu News, the search engine says there is no result related to "umbrella revolution."

China also blocked Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Which means people in China wouldn't have seen this:

Or this:

Or this:

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.