weibo

Weibo, China’s Twitter, blocks picture and video uploads by users on Tiananmen anniversary

Weibo, China’s biggest Twitter-like social media platform, blocked millions of overseas users from posting pictures or video on their feeds on Sunday, the 28th anniversary of the bloody 4 June Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Users within the country were also prevented from changing their profile information and adding visuals to comments on other people’s posts on the platform, which hosts more than 80 per cent of all microblogging activity on the mainland.

Weibo claimed that the difficulties faced by users attempting to upload media were simply due to an internal systems upgrade.

An hour after the upgrade was announced, a Weibo user from Australia, Susu_Zhuanjiehaodadekengwozhankadiya, said that those with IP addresses associated with locations outside of China could no longer post photos.

Some search terms on the site also appeared to be blocked, although users were able to post cryptic messages.

"Never forget," wrote one, above a picture of mahjong tiles with the numbers 6 and 4 on them, for the month and day of the anniversary.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hong Kong on Sunday for a candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of China's crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing's Tianamen Square.

Nearly three decades after Beijing sent tanks and troops to quell the 1989 student-led protests, Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland and have yet to release an official death toll.

Estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand killed.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is the only place on Chinese soil where a large-scale commemoration takes place, symbolising the financial hub's relative freedoms compared with the mainland.

This year's events are especially politically charged, coming just a month before an expected visit of President Xi Jinping to mark 20 years since Hong Kong was handed back to China.

Last week, a hugely popular dating app for gay women called Rela was abruptly suspended in China, leaving users to speculate about the reasons for its removal. 

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