The Great Firewall of China

  • 17 Desember 2012
Twitter app on iphone, PA
Image caption According to a local media, Xinhua has a Twitter account.

There's been uproar on China's tightly-controlled internet after local media reported that the state news agency Xinhua has an account on Twitter. Along with Facebook and YouTube, the popular western social networking website is banned in China.


Viv Marsh


Listen to the report

Xinhua has had an English-language account on Twitter for months, and it's not clear why China's regional press chose to mention its existence now. But it's provoked both anger and amusement among Chinese web users, whose every mouse-click is monitored by what's known as the Great Firewall.

One comment left on the website of the news magazine Caijing, said Xinhua's officials should be arrested for jumping the wall. Another ventured plaintively, "please allow us to visit Twitter too".

Xinhua's cyber-journey to the West may be news to many of China's netizens, but it hasn't gone there alone. Also posting on Twitter in English are the official China Daily and Global Times, in what seems to be an attempt to promote China's soft power.

Joining them on the other side of the Great Firewall are some of the best-known Chinese dissidents, including the artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who used special software to circumvent the controls. This doesn't mean there's contact between them. More than six thousand people worldwide follow Xinhua's frequent posts on Twitter - but the news agency itself doesn't follow anyone at all.


Listen to the words

provoked: menyebabkan, memicu

monitored: diawasi

jumping the wall: mengabaikan peraturan internet

plaintively: dengan sedih

cyber-journey: peningkatan arus web

netizens: kepanjangan dari 'net-citizens'; orang-orang yang menggunakan internet

dissidents: pembangkang

activists: pegiat

software: piranti lunak

circumvent: menghindari, lolos dari

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