Twitter snuffs 'emoticon' candles

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 June, 2010, 12:00am

There may have been plenty of candles in Victoria Park last night but there were none on a mainland website - not even on a birthday cake.

Sina Microblog, a mainland version of Twitter, removed a candle and a cake from the array of icons for users to attach to posts as 'emoticons'. It also removed a rose, presumably because of its connotation with bereavement.

The icons have been missing since Thursday night, eve of the June 4 commemoration.

Pinky Wong Pik-yiu, 23, said the website had overreacted, expressing amazement that the birthday cake had also gone. 'Sure there's a candle on the cake. But that's a birthday cake!'

Another blogger, 'lanrenfei', tweeted about the inconvenience after the removal of flowers and candles: 'Apart from sending a shy smiling face, how can I please pretty girls?'

Meanwhile, Microblog users invented creative tweets that could refer to June 4 while slipping past mainland censorship. 'I paid 60 dollars for a meal and added four dollars of tips,' one posted. Another said he paid HK$100 for a HK$60 dish and got HK$40 change.

Many mainlanders posted a poem by Yang Wanli from the Song dynasty: 'The scenery at West Lake [in Hangzhou] is particular in June, different from its look throughout the four seasons'

Actor Chapman To Man-chak posted a picture of a crab - which symbolises censorship - on his microblog. 'Sina staff, you have a busy day today,' he tweeted.