Internet censors get busy

The Internet censors here are going mad these days. It comes in waves – what is blocked and what isn’t. I pay for a program that gives me a U.S. ip address which lets me see all the “counter revolutionary” sites. I can also see what sites are being blocked.

And let me tell you, right now, it’s bloody annoying on the “normal” Internet. I was attempting to make strawberry sorbet yesterday (I paid $1 for half a kilo!) and about 70 per cent of the posts about strawberry sorbet were blocked. STRAWBERRY SORBET. How is this a threat? It’s totally absurd.

Much of it comes from the fact that last week, all of Blogspot was blocked. YouTube is still blocked here. Big chunks of WordPress are blocked.

Reporters Without Borders published an interesting report here about Internet censorship in China.

Unlike most of the world, the search engine Baidu rules here, as compared to Google. Apparently a list of words that are used to block sites was leaked, though I certainly can’t vouch for its authenticity. I was sent a copy, and I translated a few things. I wasn’t surprised by the common ones (human rights in China, Communist Party, etc.) but there were a few that made me pause.

  • “Husband and wife exhange” (or “phone dating” or “male slave”)
  • “Electric baton”
  • “Pregnancy to help people”
  • “Lonely Woman”

Now, these are some that just made me sad.

  • “Xinjiang” or “Tibet” or “Ethnic issues”
  • “Poor people” (because they don’t exist here, didn’t ya know?)
  • “AIDS”
  • “Japanese” (apparently all of them are counter revolutionaries, ahem)
  • “1989” or “student leaders” or “the wounds of history.”

There are some important dates coming up here.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.


  1. Jen Gerson

    Maybe they’re rolling out a ban on all red food.

    Red should not be eaten. It should be admired from afar, something to look up to with grand and glorious patriotic warmth.

  2. Katie

    They’re going to flip their lid when I try to make salsa tonight. Breakin’ the law, breakin’ the law…

    (btw, hey, internet censors, how’s your day going? Hope things are well.)

  3. claire

    Wow, my comment is not nearly as funny as the others. I just wanted to alert you to the fact that you wrote “Reporters with borders”. I think they are all about not having borders, kind of like their doctor and engineer compatriots. Anyways, I’m hoping best friend status will help me look like less of a nit-picky jerk.

  4. katelewis

    Didn’t you hear about this new organization the Chinese government launched? Reporters with borders? Crackin’ down on freedom everywhere?

    All good now 😉

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