Many of the world’s top golfers are in Shanghai right now for the HSBC Champions – an official event of both the European and PGA Tours – so the world’s golfing media are paying attention. And golfers like to tweet: Jason Dufner starting the whole #dufnering meme earlier this year, Ian Poulter likes to talk about his car collection, Rory McIlroy writes messages to his (possibly now ex-) girlfriend tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, Tiger Woods announced he was seeing Lindsay Vonn on social media and so on.
But China, as we know, has these rules about silly matters like Facebook and Twitter. It is also, as we know, not exactly hard to bypass those rules using a VPN. But apparently that is still news to many in the west, judging by this article from Golf Digest, titled “PGA Tour golfer D.A. Points and caddie Kip Henley are defying the Chinese government”.
Here’s how Luke Kerr-Dineen’s article starts:
PGA Tour golfer D.A. Points and celebrity (celebrity?) caddie Kip Henley are succeeding where millions of Chinese activists, dissidents, and average citizens have failed. They are tweeting from China.
Because, as we know, no Chinese activists or dissidents have ever figured out how to use Twitter. It continues:
Twitter.com is one of the many social media sites blocked in China, where the internet is subject to intense regulations by its government. Some citizens find a way to continue using Twitter anyway, although most stick to Weibo.com, the Chinese equivalent of the micro-blogging site. But not Points and Henley! It seems, for the time being at least, not even a foreign totalitarian quasi-communist regime can suppress their voice.
Yay for Points and Henley! Sticking it to the totalitarian regime with tweets like this from Henley:
2nites now I watched The Worlds Most Interesting Man sit at the bar by himself enjoying a Cuban. He would get spots in every bar beer bets.
OK so it’s (sort of) a joke piece, but it – and the comments underneath – do a fine job in showing what a blinkered view of China the west still has. Is Twitter blocked in China? Yes. Should you fear for your life if you use it there? Er, no. The name of the blog is “Local Knowledge”. Not so much.