In China, they can't handle the truth

Looks like there is no more "truth" on Chinese Internet.

Micro-bloggers discovered that to their dismay that the word has been blocked on the country's leading social-media website, Sina Weibo, which has about 300 million registered users.

Online messages claiming that the Chinese characters for "the truth" could not be searched on the website began circulating earlier this week.

Attempts to search Weibo for "the truth" on Thursday turned up the message: "According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, search results for 'the truth' cannot be displayed."

It is not known how long the term has been blocked or why, but one Internet user said he had first noticed it was missing late last month, UK daily The Telegraph reported.

But there was no independent confirmation from the website, the report said.

Media observers said it was not clear when the truth would return.

Mr Qi Zhenyu, head of social media for iSun Affairs, a Hong Kong-based current affairs magazine, claims he was one of the first to realise that there was no truth any more.

"It is not unusual but it is quite ironic this time - you can't simply block the truth.

"Weibo is the most popular social media site in China and as a result, suffers the highest level of censorship."

Mr Qi's online magazine is also blocked in mainland China.

He said: "Whenever there is a word that upsets them, they just go ahead and block (but) most of the time you can't really explain why they censor a certain word."

It is not the first time that China has blocked terms online. "Tiananmen Square" is among some of the terms which have been deemed obscene as well as politically sensitive.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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