Is This Satire? Sina Weibo Censors Searches for Truth. Seriously.


The truth may set you free, but in China, searching for it is illegal. Or so says Sina Weibo, China’s largest microblogging service, where searching for the term “truth” in Chinese now returns the following error message:

According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results for ‘the truth’ cannot be displayed.

Discovered by netizens and reported in The Telegraph, the blocking of “truth” has gotten a fair amount of attention, perhaps because it is utterly ridiculous. However, Sina’s censors have been busy with lots of things of late, including deleting the account of the United States Consultate in Shanghai for no apparent reason and blocking searches for popular video games for, again, no apparent reason.

The truth is blocked in China, at least if you're searching for it on Weibo.

It is unclear why the truth has been blocked from weibo, or when it might return. It’s also not clear whether this is a genuine attempt to stop users from learning the truth about anything or merely Sina’s pre-emptive strike at potential satirists who might want to skewer the social network for its trigger-happy censorship policies. After all, there’s no way any satire could top this in terms of sheer balls-out ridiculousness.

Either way, it is worth noting that even in the absence of truth on Weibo, searches for lies remain unrestricted.

[via The Telegraph]

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

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