Twitter may be blocked in China, but it’s not like that ever stopped anyone who was genuinely determined to jump over the great firewall. Many of you follow us on our Twitter and while we always knew the Twitter community here is active and growing, we recently stumbled onto a website that gave us some hard proof of it.
A World of Tweets is a site that allows you to view real time tweets as it is happening across the globe, simultaneously visualizing it all with heatmaps. Now the first thing that probably will strike you about it is that it’s cool; it’s insanely cool and really puts the Twitter phenomenon into perspective. The next thing that hits you is that China, while mostly barren for a country of 1.6 billion people and counting compared to Twitter hotspots like western Europe and the US, does have some faint tweets showing through. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Twitter users are, but the approximate locations suggest the big cities of Beijing and Shanghai.
It’s a bit puzzling because anyone accessing Twitter in China via vpn would be recorded in a different location other than China, but we do know you can tweet using your Kindle and also that Chinese internet users are well versed in using the internet so maybe that is translating into mad firewall hopping skills.
We think Ai Weiwei would be pretty happy to hear this.