TiananMeme ’89

On 4 June 1989, citizens of China commemorated the “Tiananmen Square protests of 1989—one of the most significant events in the country’s recent history that the government has refused to acknowledge—by creating clever memes on the internet. 

Due to China’s infamous web censorship that bans any word or phrase related to the event, online dissidents has parodied the iconic “Tank Man” photo by digitally replacing the tanks with replicas of the gigantic yellow rubber duckie from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor.

Other similar images based on this same Photoshop concept were also spotted online, including one made of LEGO.

While the Chinese authorities have since added “big yellow duck” to its huge list of banned phrases, the ridiculous image of a man about to be run over by rubber ducks has already become viral, with thousands having already seen it.

It is good to see how something supposedly frivolous like an internet meme can be used to address more important social and political issues. 


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