It’s Hard to Keep a Rule Breaker Down: Despite Gag Order, Ai Weiwei Joins Google+

When artist Ai Weiwei was released in late June from his nearly three month incarceration by Chinese authorities, one of the only things he was able to tell the media is that he wasn’t going to be able to talk to the media, be it in the form of journalists or the social, internet variety. He was also told he wasn’t going to be allowed to leave the country. So how long did all of those stipulations of his release seem to last? Well, he started talking to the media just eight days later. Then he accepted a position at a Berlin university, which usually you have to take a flight to from Beijing, as it isn’t generally located in China. Now he’s apparently going for a solid sweep of breaking his jailor’s rules. News is circulating that Weiwei has joined Google+, the search network’s new social media venture. Penn Olson reports that the artist’s first post yesterday afternoon read simply, “Greetings. I’m here!” and that he’d gotten a bit funny in his profile, calling himself a “suspected pornography enthusiast and tax evader.” ArtInfo offers up a nice recap of all the buzz these few social updates has spawned, with most people they spoke with believing that it’s not really such a dangerous move after all, given that Google+ is blocked in China. That is, of course, assuming that it doesn’t become Weiwei’s sole outlet to the world and he starts rabble rousing again. In which case, we’re probably all making it a lot worse in posts like this one by essentially yelling to the Chinese government: “Hey look over here! He’s breaking the rules!”