Police officers stand guard during clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

IN WHAT appears to be a great example of hypocrisy and irony, Instagram has reportedly been blocked in China following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

It’s not just Instagram that has been blocked in an attempt by Chinese officials to control news reports, but images posted anywhere online that have been tagged or posted with certain phrases.

The orders have come straight from the Publicity Department of China for websites to delete any mention of the unrest.

The latest move follows previous bans of social media sites like Twitter and Facebook which were put in place during other recent moments of political turmoil. Instagram has proved to be a popular place for protesters to post images of what’s happening in Hong Kong and was one of the only social networks to have avoided the ‘Great Firewall of China’.

Not only have Western-based media been banned, but reports out of China are also saying that local platforms such as Weibo have become heavily censored. Search phrases such as “Occupy Central” and “Hong Kong students” are just two of terms that have been blocked in the mainland.

Vigilant citizens are getting around the bans though, using an app called Firechat that allows people to communicate without an internet connection. It works by using a technology known as ‘mesh networking’ where messages can be sent to people nearby as long as they have the app too. It also allows people to daisy chain connections between phones and talk to people further away, but those messages aren’t private.

This has been the first real use of the technology and is only the beginning of the struggle that censoring states will soon face.

[Source:- news.com]

By Adam