Chinese media censorship before and after the annual June 3-4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre has become standard practice since 1989, but it has ramped up especially this year ahead of its 25th anniversary — including among companies and places outside of mainland China.
The professional networking site LinkedIn launched in China just months ago, but is already bending to the will of Chinese censors by blocking posts referencing Tiananmen Square — including in areas where China is without legal authority, according to Quartz.
LinkedIn openly supports the censors of China and should be condemned for such acts. pic.twitter.com/mauLDlIOpp
— Charles Mok 莫乃光 (@charlesmok) June 3, 2014
Mok is a legislator in Hong Kong, which is only territorially part of China and governed under a “one country, two systems” policy which protects freedoms of speech and press. Mok is one of numerous users that have received emails from LinkedIn notifying them of removal of their content as a result of “specific requirements within China to block certain content.”
Artist and former Beijing resident Helen Couchman is another, and said LinkedIn deleted her post of an article about Chinese authorities detaining a Chinese-Australian fellow artist and friend.
I’m unhappy w/ #LinkedIn for removing factual and public news links I had shared. I wasn’t even sharing an opinion. #artist #detained #China
— Helen Couchman (@HelenCouchman) June 3, 2014
Couchman shared the same article about artist Guo Jian on her Facebook and Twitter account, where the social media services still available. Couchman lives in Britain but her LinkedIn is hosted on China’s local site, meaning LinkedIn is blocking content regardless of where users hosted on the mainland site are physically posting from.
LinkedIn is currently the only Western-based social media platform allowed in China. Both Facebook and Twitter were blocked sometime around early 2011 after the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia and the ongoing Arab Spring throughout the Middle East proved how social media could be used to organize effective protests.