Forbidden country

Website>> Baidu • China

Published: Friday 31 May 2013

It is one of the great ironies of China. May 1, marked worldwide by labour and socialist movements, should be a cause of celebration in the communist China. But it was not so on China’s popular website, Baidu. Ranked fifth most popular website in the world, above even Wikipedia, Baidu contains Google-like search features, discussion boards and a Wikipedia-style encyclopedia. One of its many functions is to allow users to start discussions around popular topics.

On May 1, the entry for International Worker’s Day on Baidu made no mention of the holiday. More tellingly, Baidu blocked users from starting discussions on topics related to labour. This is quite consistent with the country’s web censorship practice. Anything that might inspire public gatherings or be used to encourage them is a top target for web censorship in China.

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