Monday, June 7, 2010

Foursquare blocked in China

Foursquare blocked in China

Reports suggest the Chinese government is restricting access to the Foursquare geo-location service, after players used the service to draw attention to the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre



According to some sources, the Chinese authorities appear to have blocked access to the Foursquare service in mainland China. The reasons for the censorship of the geolocation service remain unclear, but some have speculated that it could be linked to the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The Chinese government is notorious for stifling discussion about the event, and already blocks internet searches that contain those key terms.
It appears that some Foursquare users have been "checking in" to Tiananmen Square in a show of solidarity with Chinese dissidents, and to commemorate those who died in the massacre. The current "mayor" of Tiananmen Square is aFoursquare user called Chommy.

According to Techblog86, a website that covers technology news in China, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people using the Foursquare service to 'visit' Tiananmen Square. The blog has a screenshot of a user's Foursquare app on the iPhone, which shows hundreds of people checking in at the site of the massacre.
It remains unclear whether the blocking of Foursquare in China is a permanent or temporary move by the authorities. It already uses its "Great Firewall" to filter content that it deems unsuitable for Chinese citizens, such as websites about Tibet, the religious group Falun Gong or the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which hundreds of student protestors were crushed by government tanks. Access to Google and Facebook is also blocked in China.
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