It has not been looking up these past few days for bloggers or twitterers. First there was the bad news on Cheng Jianping being sentenced to a labor camp earlier and then a blogger conference due to convene in Shanghai over the weekend has been forced to cancel.
The organizers of the Chinese Bloggers Conference had an inkling there could be problems with the touchy government, so they waited until just four days ahead of the planned start on Saturday to announce the venue. But even with that precaution, the venue hosts crumbled under pressure from authorities and backed out last minute.
The organizers announced the cancelation via their website, citing “well known reasons” adding that they were looking for an alternative but after that the website itself was taken down. Naturally, it had the whole twitter community buzzing about it.
But even with their page down “…organizers found a way to poke fun at censors: when visitors to the conference’s censored home page pressed Ctrl-Alt, the common computer command for “select all” ;it highlighted previously hidden text that read, in Chinese, ‘The grass mud horse has been harmonized.'”
It’s nice to see they’re keeping their humor about it and though it’s an unfortunate setback, bloggers who were determined to meet no doubt found ways around it.
Isaac Mao, a venture capitalist and software architect who co-founded the conference, said that while pressure from authorities had “upset the original scheme of this year’s conference,” bloggers who came to Shanghai for it could “still find ways to gather in smaller groups.”