China censors social media, Internet to squelch Tiananmen Square anniversary

china censors social media internet to squelch tiananmen square anniversaryLess than a week after Google unveiled a warning system to alert Chinese users of possible Internet censorship comes the news that the Chinese government have blocked all Internet access to search terms relating to today’s 23rd anniversary of the country’s brutal suppression of political demonstrations, perhaps best remembered for the Tiananmen Square protests.

The Guardian reports that the terms “six four,” “23,” “candle,” and “never forget” have been blocked on some sites, with users on the Sina Weibo social network being told that search results for any of those phrases cannot be displayed “due to relevant laws, regulations and policies.” According to the Globe and Mail, even the Chinese word for “today” – “jintian” – was a banned search term on some social networks, while other terms were allowed but only return politically approved material, including an article that claims that the Tiananmen Square massacre is “a myth”. Furthermore, posts made on the service are also being censored or deleted, and users are being prevented from changing display photos for the day in order to suppress any attempt to commemorate the anniversary visually.

As should be expected, the attempts aren’t entirely successful. One Sina poster managed to comment that “It’s that day again and once more numerous posts are being deleted,” while other complained that their posts were being “harmonized” – a censorship-friendly euphemism for censored, amusingly – within minutes of being posted. “There can be no social stability if people cannot speak out and must live in terror of punishment,” wrote one commenter on the Weibo social network.

This isn’t the first time that social sites in China have undergone this kind of censorship on the anniversary of the massacre. Last year, protestors appeared to defeat censors by referring to the anniversary as “May 35” instead of “June 4,” but this year even that non-existent date has been added to the list of blocked terms.

The strangest of the blocked search terms may have “Shanghai Composite,” added to the list after the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dropped 64.89 points yesterday, mirroring the date of the protest and massacre (6/4/89). While Chen Ji, spokesman for the Shanghai Stock Exchange said that he “didn’t see anything abnormal in the market,” Chinese University of Hong Kong history professor Willy Wo-Lap Lam called the coincidence “mind-boggling.”

Emerging Tech

New simulation shows how Elon Musk’s internet satellite network might work

Elon Musk has the dream of building a network for conveying internet traffic via thousands of satellites. A new simulation created by a computer scientist looks at how feasible the idea is.

Over a million veterans now eligible for Comcast’s Internet Essentials program

Comcast's low-cost Internet Essentials program, which provides internet access for just $10 per month, has expanded to include U.S. veterans. One million veterans now qualify for the service.

The best new music this week: Charles Bradley, Muse, and more

Are you looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. On tap this week: Charles Bradley, J Mascis, Muse, and Smino.

Don't take your provider's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Google honors Veterans Day by highlighting military service stories

For Veterans Day, Google is honoring the heroes that served the country with a new Google Doodle that highlights the stories of five veterans from the five different branches of the military.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.

Edit, sign, append, and save with 12 of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.
Emerging Tech

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale smashes online shopping records

The annual online shopping frenzy that is Singles' Day this year raked in $30.8 billion, up from $25 billion last time around. The Alibaba-organized event generates more in sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Apple to boost its Amazon presence with listings for iPhones, iPads, and more

Apple is about to start offering more of its kit on Amazon. The tech giant currently only has very limited listings on the shopping site, but the deal will see the arrival of the latest iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, and more.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with the arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.