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Chinese blogger Twitters his detention; GV translates

Global Voices reports on citizen reporter Zhou “Zuola” Shuguang's detention and release, all detailed via his Twitter stream:

Earlier this morning Zuola tweetedthat he wouldn't be online today as he was being visited by “government people”: two from the birth planning office (mentioned above) following up on a report that he had violated China's one-child policy (Zuola has no children) and two to see take his parents out for “tea” and a chat.

Last month Zuola mentioned on his blog feeling nervous about being in Beijing for the Olympics as he had planned, and decided it better to sit it one out and return home to Meitanba, Hunan province. Prior to that he got busted in Shenyang just following the Yilishen incident, where he had traveled to do some citizen reporting for his blog.

Mathew Ingraham at the Globe and Mail summarizes:

Global Voices, the excellent global blogging project founded by Rebecca MacKinnon and the Harvard Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, caught wind of the detainment and started posting translationsof Zhou’s Twitter messages, updating the post with each new message as it came in. Not only did several officials put Zhou in a car and drive him back to his hometown, but others also apparently went to visit his parents, saying they wanted to take them out for tea (one of the officials who detained Zhou was an executive with the Changsha Mining Group, the company that Zhou’s father worked for). In his last update the blogger said that he was unharmed, and that he was planning to return to Beijing accompanied by a journalist, in defiance of the authorities.

A fascinating story — or at least the core of a fascinating story — and all told entirely via Twitter. The “first draft of history” indeed.

And in today's Wall Street Journal, Rebecca MacKinnon has an op-ed where she comments on "The Chinese Censorship Foreigners Don't See" (and adds to the op-ed on her blog):

Beijing's Internet censorship hit global headlines recently, when foreign journalists in town to cover the Olympics discovered their access to well-known overseas Web sites was blocked. Yet while the government has now unblocked some of those sites, those journalists shouldn't think the broader problem is solved. Censorship of ordinary Chinese people's electronic communications within China has changed little.

Keep an eye on the Global Voices site for more translated updates of Zhou's Twitter stream, and for more on the Olympics and media see GV's special coverage, as well as the OpenNet Initiative's monitoring of internet filtering in China.

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Global Voices Online is an online citizen media community dedicated to amplifying independent online voices from outside North America and Europe. More