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Great Firewall of China

By Shamus
on Monday Mar 5, 2007
Filed under:


Can your website be read in China? Turns out mine can:


Great. Nice to know the people of China are protected from the dangers of Wikipedia yet have the freedom to spam the ever-loving crap out of me. Grumblegrumble.

Steven is available as well, which is interesting. He used to write about politics, and I’d expect political sites to get blocked across the board. You can give the Great Firewall of China a try and see if your site is available.

Comments (22)

  1. azrhey says:

    meanwhile DMotR is not accessible from France….

  2. David V.S. says:

    Both of my congregational website and blog are visible. My math department page is not (which may be a technical error rather than being blocked).

    The first two are interesting because I they often mention Yeshua. This is just more confirmation that (in English) Messianic Jewish language is not yet banned the way similar Christian language usually is.

    The third is interesting because community college information is something I would expect overbearing governments might lean on, although I admit I have no reason to suspect China’s current leadership of doing this.

  3. Robert says:

    My news site (www.bloggernews.net) isn’t blocked. This fills me with shame, frankly. If we aren’t getting banned by the Chinese, then we aren’t doing our job.

  4. greg says:

    the link for my band(www.thrawtle.com) is blocked. as of right now it is a redirect to the myspace account..and that is the one that is probably blocked….

  5. greg says:

    sorry to post again…but http://www.myspace.com is not blocked…i was not aware that songs about drinking and other stupid things woud bring down a nation… viva le revolution

  6. It is rather odd, isn’t it? I suspect the reason is that they didn’t really start wielding the ban stick in a big way until after I stopped doing political blogging in a big way.

  7. Tirgaya says:

    I feel a great deal of pride because my site is in fact blocked. Wiiii… or something.

    Oddly enough I suspect its because of an article I wrote in 1992 regarding how capitalist economies eventually evolve into communist/socialist ones if the market actually operates freely. (Eventually improving technology and price competition makes things effectively free. )

    So… the very thing that people react violently towards here saying various unkind things… also gets me banned there. Oh happy day!

  8. Thad says:

    Interesting. My blog (at blogspot) is blocked. My .com URL is blocked, but the site that the .com redirects to isn’t. Huh, go figure.

  9. Nick says:

    Hmm… both of my blogs (www.nickistre.net and anime.nickistre.net) are blocked. I guess I’m doing something… right?

  10. My website is apparently blocked.

    Definitely going to have to put together a Banned in China! blog tag sticker thingy.

  11. Don says:

    While the tancos2.net domain itself isn’t blocked, both my weblogs are, as is my old idle site at tancos.net. I tried a number of other weblogs, mostly apolitical, and nearly all of them were blocked. Pixy’s, however, is available.

  12. They blocked Blogspot entirely a long time ago. They’re not blocking individual blogs there.

  13. Julia says:


    If you do up that tag, give us a heads-up. :)

  14. “Bummer”, I wanted to double-check and now I show as available.

    Suddenly, that website is a lot slower than it used to be. I wouldn’t be at all surprised that it’s giving out a lot of false positives due to load issues.

    Ah well, someday I aspire to be banned.

  15. Pixy Misa says:

    meanwhile DMotR is not accessible from France…

    Let me look into that. The DMotR images are hosted at mu.nu, and last year we were subject to a persistent series of DDoS attacks from a number of countries, including France. I may still have some French IP ranges blacklisted.

  16. Pixy Misa says:

    Yes, I did. I’ve removed those entries – sorry about that.

    Just hope we don’t suddenly get DDoSed again. Anyway, the main attack was launched from Turkey, and they remain blocked.

  17. Greg says:

    The Battle Grounds mod site is available for people in China, though I don’t think I’ve ever seen a person from China playing the game… Almost makes you wonder what the government actually tells the Chinese citizens.

  18. If I’d known you were concerned about visibility in China I’d have posted a comment long ago. I’ve been enjoying DMotR from China for several months now with no problems.

    I’ve lived in China for ten years, and I still find it very hard to explain the Great Firewall properly, but that’s not going to stop me from trying. Apologies for tl;dr, but maybe someone is interested in a perspective from within the Great Firewall.

    1. The two main ISP providers in China use slightly different blocking software/techniques. Thus, it is frequently possible for a site to be blocked for those using China Telecom but visible when using China Unicom. Leads to much fun and confusion.

    2. The Great Firewall is constantly evolving. Sites appear, disappear and re-appear all the time.

    3. It’s not like there are thousands of censors sitting around scanning the internet for any mention of banned or dangerous topics. If your site mentions politics, democracy, or even economic theories (including the economic validity of communism) they don’t care, especially if you post on multiple topics. The Chinese government is well aware that there are huge range of perspectives in world, and they aren’t stupid enough to try to protect their citizens from this fact. They are secure in the knowledge that any Chinese citizen who can read and debate politics, religion or economics in English must be highly-educated, and thus belong to the most indoctrinated segment of society (political theory plays an important role in education at all levels from kindergarten to post-graduate studies).

    4. However, if you happen to hit on a particularly sensitive topic, for example the suppression of peasant riots in Dongzhou, Guangdong while that suppression is still going on, then you will find yourself blocked. At least while the post remains on the front page. The government is worried about specific contradictions to their official reports being offered up by bloggers and internet pundits.
    Highly specific challenges are considered dangerous, not general ones.

    5. That said, some topics will get a blanket ban. Temporary if your website covers a variety of topics, permanent if your website is focused. Permanent bans are in place on: Free Tib*t, F*lun G*ng, and Hum*n Rights W*tch amongst others. (You’ll notice that I’m even nervous about typing those words into the comments here.)

    6. Mainstream foreign news sources are barely censored at all. Ok, so we can’t access the bbc.co.uk/news/ page (I think that’s a grudge ban, as the CCP has never forgiven the BBC for their ‘The Dying Rooms’ documentary in 1996), but we can download and listen to all BBC radio broadcasts. I can read a huge variety of news, analysis and comment about China online through The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many others. I could even view that video of Tibetan refugees being shot trying to cross the border a few months ago – suppressed in the Chinese media – by going to a Canadian news site (CBC.com maybe?)

    7. Traditionally, the CCP has seen blogs as dangerous. Nobody is regulating them, anyone could write about anything, they don’t have time to read them all, etc. They’ve tended to deal with this by banning blogging platforms. However, that strategy appears to be being refined nowadays. Geocities was banned for years, but has recently reappeared. The same goes for blogspot and typepad. Blog-city was originally visible, then it was banned for about a year, then it reappeared. Blogware was visible, but was banned about six months ago. The same goes for wordpress. Livejournal disappeared behind the firewall four days ago – on Saturday.
    I used to blog on blog-city, when that was banned I moved to blogware, when that was banned I moved to livejournal. Now LJ’s banned and I’m starting to get a bit annoyed.
    The best rule of thumb is: if you have your own domain name (as Shamus does) then you’re pretty safe from the firewall. If you blog on a url provided by one of the platforms you could easily find yourself disappearing.

    8. Right now the National People’s Congress is meeting in Beijing. This is traditionally the time of year when internet controls are at their tightest. Thus, I’m hoping that the current LJ block will prove to be a temporary one and disappear once the meeting is over, because I really don’t want to have to migrate my blog again.

  19. gedece says:

    My own blog (gedece.blogspot.com , spanish site called Demasiado Personal) is blocked, but I guess it’s just Blogger that it’s blocked.

  20. azrhey says:


    *goes read from XXIX onward…

  21. […] saw this the other day at Shamus’, and then again at Don’s. What the heck, I’ll give it a try. Let’s […]

One Trackback

  1. By the Astronomicon › Hmmm… on Wednesday Mar 7, 2007 at 1:02 am

    […] saw this the other day at Shamus’, and then again at Don’s. What the heck, I’ll give it a try. Let’s […]

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