“By Tuesday afternoon, ‘big yellow duck’ had also been blocked.”
It takes a very significant date for the word "today" to be deemed too sensitive to mention. But 24 years after the Chinese government's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, "today" is part of a long list of search terms that have been censored on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblog.
Other banned words include "tomorrow," "that year," "special day," and many number combinations that could refer to 4 June 1989, such as 6-4, 64, 63+1, 65-1, and 35 (shorthand for May 35th).
Douglas Rushkoff is a media theorist and the bestselling author of Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. His earlier books include Life Inc, Program or Be Programmed, and Media Virus. He made the PBS Frontline documentaries The Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation, and speaks around the world about media, technology, and change.