Via VOA News:
A social media account run by the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai has mysteriously disappeared from the Internet in China, prompting many to wonder if it is the work of government censors.
The Shanghai consulate’s account on Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like microblog service owned by SINA Corporation, was known for its sometimes witty commentary, often on Chinese political and social issues.
But as of Friday, the consulate’s account was still inaccessible, replaced by an error message that reads “temporarily unavailable” — a message similar to those seen when accounts are deleted by government censors.
Beijing defends its online censorship, dubbed the Great Firewall of China, by saying it is aimed at maintaining social stability, preventing the spread of false rumors, and blocking inappropriate material.
Read in full here.
This is just so sad, right? Mysterious disappearances are quite common among Foreign Service blogs, ya know, and now an official blog has been eaten? They’re there one day, they’re gone the next. We have not been able to catch the tail of the offending tiger despite tracking the blood spots.
The WSJ reports that “U.S. diplomatic staff in Shanghai woke up that morning to discover that the consulate’s Weibo account had disappeared, according to a spokeswoman. The spokeswoman said no reason was given and it was unclear whether a particular post had caused problems.”
Well! Imagine that. Doesn’t that sound awfully familiar? What were they writing over there?
WaPo cites a post responding to a senior environmental official which criticized its popular Twitter feed that tracks pollution in smoggy Beijing, a shushing emoticon: “Keep your voice low. People are still sleeping,”
See, harmless as toucans. May be the State Department will have better luck finding out how and why the Chinese tigers really ate the consulate’s blog?
- Shanghai US consulate’s social media account, known for its irreverent remarks, disappears (canada.com)
- Sina Weibo Backlash Beginning as US Consulate in Shanghai Gets Banished (techinasia.com)
- US social media account in China disappears (bostonherald.com)
- U.S. Consulate General Shanghai Launches Air Quality Monitor (diplopundit.net)