China’s Douban Platform Bans Popular Accounts as Censorship Is Raised for Tiananmen Square Anniversary
03 June 2021
By Rebecca Davis
China is notorious for dialing up its internet censorship as the June 4 anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown approaches.
Each year, its censors go into high alert to wipe out any direct, indirect or disguised references to the 1989 incident, during which the People’s Liberation Army fired upon peaceful democracy protestors in the heart of Beijing.
But for the first time this year, a top social media platform took the unusual step of preemptively silencing popular accounts simply for being influential, even though they hadn’t posting anything politically sensitive.
On Wednesday morning, many Douban users received an unexpected message from the platform stating that their ability to post had been temporarily suspended in the lead-up to and aftermath of the anniversary date.