The Chinese government has blocked all access to Foursquare, a popular social networking tool in that country. Their reason? Rumor has it that it is because too many users of the service were checking in to Tiananmen Square on June 4, the twenty-first anniversary of the Tinanamen Square massacre.
More than 3,000 students and protestors were killed for protesting against communism on June 4, 1989, and the Chinese government did these murders. To say the least, the subject is still difficult for the Chinese government to even remotely think about, so no discussion of either the protests or the massacre is ever tolerated in mainland China. It is also forbidden for anyone to discuss this incident on the Internet.
The only information about this event that is ever mentioned is the government’s official one. In fact, back during 2006 Google edited out the entire occasion from its Chinese search offerings. But, the popularity of social networking has made it harder and harder to stop any and all mention of the event, and even more difficult when the anniversary date is getting close.
In 2009, during the time that led up to the twentieth anniversary of the occasion, the government of China blocked access to Hotmail, Twitter, and Flickr. But in 2010, those protesting tried something new, and used Foursquare to check into Tiananmen Square. They then left what one popular blog called “sensitive comments” instead of the usual tips. Many have found it interesting that apparently the Chinese government has become wise as to how people are using Foursquare because of the re-publishing of certain checkins to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
At any rate, Foursquare is now blocked to all of mainland China. It remains to be seen if the ban will be lifted soon.