Famous Chinese lawyer and human rights defender Chen Guangcheng has escaped from the farm where he had been under house arrest since 2010. The news spread like wildfire Friday on Chinese social media networks, prompting authorities to quickly block his name from search engine results – a common tactic used with sensitive issues. However this time they decided to take things a step further: the word “blind” is now blocked from results on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Because Guangcheng is blind, Internet users had been using the word to discuss his escape without mentioning his name.
Below is a screen grab of what shows up when one types the word “blind” in Weibo’s search bar. The message says: “In accordance with the law, the term ‘blind’ cannot be displayed.’”