China’s efforts to whitewash the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre are not new. Every year, the Communist regime unleashes its full might to enforce censorship especially on the internet to block any mention of the gruesome killings on June 4 that year. This year, the censorship ‘firewall’ is slightly more stringent than the previous ones. As per a submission by Twitter user @whyyoutouzhele, Chinese social media platform Tik Tok has issued an online advisory to the users asking them to avoid certain content like “candle-lighting emojis” , “numbers of unknown meaning”, “slogans”, “tanks” “old photographs with a sense of age” “content containing elements such as crowd gathering , mention of Tiananmen Square, Victoria Harbour, the summer palace” etc.
According to media reports, all internet platforms including Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, bilibili and others were heavily censored and scrutinised by China around June 4. To avoid being tagged by ‘offensive’ content around Tiananmen Square, name of top Communist Party officials were replaced by figurative symbols. For example, Chinese president Xi Jinping was mentioned as ‘*’.
But it seemed that the Chinese regime could not completely black out internet on the Tiananmen anniversary. There are netizens in China who display resistance to remember the victims and came up with innovative methods.
Some of them repost their Weibo accounts, some comment on “don’t forget” and “year after year “ under the music software “international song” and some just ask each other as to what happened in 1989 on the state owned chatbot.