China blocks Instagram as Hong Kong protesters take over the streets

China blocks Instagram as Hong Kong protesters take over the streets

Image of China flag on brick wall courtesy of ShutterstockChina has blocked Facebook’s photo-sharing site Instagram, as pro-democracy protesters flooded the Central financial district in Hong Kong on Monday and chronicled it all by flooding social media sites with #OccupyCentral hashtagged images.

One such Instagram image shows hundreds of office workers roaming the district, in solidarity with those pushing back against Beijing’s decision to limit democratic reforms in the Asian financial hub.

Other images include photos and videos that show riot-gear clad Hong Kong police firing tear gas and pepper-spraying demonstrators.

Twitter BBC World News OccupyCentral

BBC News (World) ‏@BBCWorld

Hong Kong police arrest 78 protesters in day of violent clashes  #OccupyCentral

Reuters cites numerous reports about China’s blockage of Instagram, including from Hong Kong-based reporters with the New York Times.

Instagram was showing up yesterday as blocked on the BlockedInChina site:

Screenshot from BlockedinChina of Instagram test

And the Great Fire censorship monitoring site confirmed that Instagram was blocked on Monday, with conflicting reports of blockage having started on Sunday.

China blocks Instragram, screenshot from Great Fire

The government may have succeeded in keeping mainland citizens from following what’s happening in the streets of Hong Kong, but – as Reuters points out – that won’t stop Hong Kong users from posting on social media, nor will it stop people in other countries from seeing the images.

Image of China’s flag on brick wall courtesy of Shutterstock.