China has blocked access to the video sharing site YouTube but the authorities insist that they are not scared of the internet.
Access to YouTube began to falter late on Monday and by Tuesday it had become impossible to reach the site.
The California-based company confirmed that the site had been blocked but was unable to provide a reason. It was working to restore access.
It may be no coincidence that the move has occurred around the anniversary of unrest in Tibet. The site was blocked last year from March 15 to 23, a day after a riot in Lhasa in which 22 people were killed after Tibetans protesting against Chinese rule rampaged through the streets of the capital city.
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The release at the weekend of a video compiled by Tibetan exiles showing violent scenes shot by Chinese police of their crackdown on a riot in Lhasa in 1988 and a scene of armed police arresting protesters in March last year may have angered the authorities.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
It is not the first time that YouTube has been blocked in China – or in other countries with governments nervous about the almost unfiltered content available to internet users. The site has previously been inaccessible in China for brief periods, sometimes with specific videos blocked.