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WordPress.com Now Blocked in China

  1. WordPress.com is no longer accessible from mainland China. It has been blocked since at least January 31, 2006. See here, http://my.opera.com/1ee/blog/show.dml/127800, http://www.wordpresscn.com/457 and http://gogobu.wordpress.com/2006/02/03/great-firewall/.

    edit: Edited link so not to kill the columns here in the forums. Hope you don't mind. -drmike

  2. Like this is a surprise!

    Considering WP's tie-up with Yahoo I wouldn't doubt the sleezbags at Google had a hand at getting it blocked.

  3. This is only because Google opened up business in China and they must comply with Chinese law.

  4. WP has a tie with Yahoo? And Google can't control the chinese government.. You're blabbering.

    As for the news, it's a big blow for WordPress. There are totally 36.82 Million Chinese Bloggers according to http://blogherald.com and well, WP's proffesionality should have brought them all here by now.

    Someone needs to do something here!

  5. I politely out the following to people:

    - Google has always had a policy in place to support the government policies of the countries that they operate in. Anyone remember all that crap about the Nazi searches that were banned in Germany a few years back? They even censor searches here in the US.

    - From an ISP point of view, I've had *VERY* large blocks of China space blocked from my servers for years. They are notorious for being the source of spam and DoS attacks. No one ever complained about those.

    - Also please remember that this is a support forum for WP.com, not for policies of Automattic, WP, or for China.

    Now, I don't mind a discussion on this. You'll notice that I'm not locking this thread. (We're having one over in my forums as well. Very lively.) Just lets please keep a civil tongue and all that. :)

    As an aside, I see lots of mentions that WP.com is blocked in those posts but no mention of such in the WikiPedia article that they all link to.

    Thanks,
    -drmike

  6. Considering WP's tie-up with Yahoo I wouldn't doubt the sleezbags at Google had a hand at getting it blocked.

    Um, Yahoo are not exactly beyond reproach when it comes to matters Chinese either...

    chronotron: It is not in anyone's interests for all Chinese bloggers to congregate on one site, whether it be wordpress.com or any other, since it makes it that much more likely that the site will be noticed by the Chinese authorities due to all the traffic heading its way, and that it will accordingly be blocked. They stand more chance of being able to publish freely if they seek out less popular blog hosts. (Cross-posting to more than one site so that there's always a backup option isn't a bad idea either).

  7. They can always hack around it. One of those articles mentions many ways to do so.

    -drmike

  8. Chronotron writes:

    WP has a tie with Yahoo? And Google can't control the chinese government.. You're blabbering.

    Yea OK, so 'm blubbering, but I'm also correct. WordPress, plus Yahoo equals a tie in.

    In light of your blubbering remark and in consideration to drmike (Just lets please keep a civil tongue and all that. :))

    I'll only offer this, know from whence you speak before you punch your keyboard.

    OH and you owe drmike a big thank you for not receiving a very large smackdown right about now.

  9. as a canadian who's lived in china for almost 4 years, this latest block to wordpress, though expected, is ever so discouraging. the state control of the internet as well as other media has become tighter here rather than moving towards a freer exchange (as one might expect from a future olympic host).
    FYI, anyone in china that wants to blog with the likes of wordpress or blogger can do so by using a proxy server, but even then the GFW (great fire wall) will occasionally track you down. not a problem for most foreigners, however for chinese citizens, some breeches of the penal code with regards to the internet carry the ultimate penalty...
    http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/asia/china-bck-0701.htm

    btw drmike, what's the address of the forums you mentioned?

  10. Well, I personally feel that finding a way around this would not help the chinese as many are scared to go against the govt. The best thing for Matt to would to try contact a chinese official and find the reason for it. If WP.org is banned as well, we know the problem is with WP's policies, if not the problem might be either of two things.
    1) Some WP blogs may have irritated China by posting anti-govt things
    2) CHina does not want to give it's users the freedom of posting that WP offers.

  11. the problem is most certainly not WP's, hence the block. points 1 and 2? definitely.
    though with regards to 'point 1', something as benign as the words 'tibet' or 'democracy' can be deemed 'anti-govt'.

  12. Well, i went to China on the 21-22 of January and i was able to access wordpress then. It really isn't a suprise, seeing that wordpress is one of the few blog providers to volunatry censor their contents in China... ah, we just lost 1/5 of the world audience people. Luckily, Hong Kong is still sort of independent from China, or else i won't be able to access wordpress from here :K

    If you want something funny of China's censorship... Well, the morning before i went to China (while i was still in HK) I was watching the news and saw that China lost to Cuba in volleyball, and that night, and when i was watching the same channel's evening news, it reached the sports part, and when it was just about to announce Cuba's victory of China, the channel changed to ads...

  13. sigh....I can just update with foreign proxy, but I cannot ask everyone in China to read my blog with proxy...
    shame...

  14. Larryau: It really isn't a suprise, seeing that wordpress is one of the few blog providers to volunatry censor their contents in China...

    Do you have any proof of that? I'd love to see it.

  15. I think he must have meant not to voluntarily censor content; since if they did censor it, there'd be no reason to block the site. That said, in the continuing absence of a terms of service, we have no idea whether censorship is going on here or not. I like to think that it isn't, but a) the link with Yahoo and b) the less than stellar record of the .org forums in this respect makes it impossible to be sure.

  16. I point out *AGAIN* that there still isn't any offical mention of WP.com being blocked. All those posts point to an Wiki article where there is no mention of WP.com being blocked. At least there wasn't one when I lasted checked.

    And I don't think that there's any real connection with WP and Yahoo. WP is open source and anyone can use it. Heck, I use it for my hosting. Yahoo does an affilate program and that's probably why that link is on WP.org's site. (Along with the others.)

    <opinion>Heck, I think China needs an IDP against it. I know we blocked over 3 million spams out of there Friday when I checked.</opinion>

  17. victoriacarolina
    Member

    Ahhhhh.... drmike, the link between wp and yahoo is pretty tight.... you should maybe read matt's blog (assuming the info is still there....)

    One of the posts: http://wordpress.org/development/2005/12/wordpress-on-yahoo/

    Now I would have to assume that's pretty "close".

  18. Drmike, I appreciate that you are playing it safe about whether WP.com has actually been blocked in China or not. However, I'm not sure what official word it is that you are waiting for. Do you mean an official word from WordPress.com, or are you expecting a headline from a respected and well-known media source?

    As to the media, I wouldn't expect much. Websites get blocked and unblocked in China all the time. If a MAJOR foreign website suddenly got blocked, like the main Google search engine, http://www.google.com/ncr , we'd hear about it within a few days in most major news sources, but when smaller websites get blocked, especially websites offering blogging services, you hear very little about it in the media. For instance, Blogger was unblocked for a while in November and December and then got reblocked in early January. Typepad had been blocked for a while but got unblocked again this January and is presently accessible from within China. This all happens almost without a peep from major news sources like CNN.

    As to Wikipedia making no mention of the WP.com block, well, there are thousands of websites being blocked by the Chinese government. Is someone going to go and systematically list all these websites on Wikipedia and then keep that list up to date? Currently there's no list like that on Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_China, as far as I can see. In fact, the Wikipedia article on the subject lists very few individual websites being blocked in China, and rather groups together the kinds of websites that get blocked in China. The Wikipedia article further notes that Wikipedia itself also happens to be blocked in China.

    I pointed out a few different websites in the first post in this thread, including my own, that indicate that WordPress.com is currently being blocked in China. Here are some results from Technorati using the terms 'wordpress.com' and '封' (pronounced 'feng' - the Chinese term for a blocked website). They are all in Chinese, so if you can't read Chinese you may want to feed the URLs through the Google translator or AltaVista's BabelFish.

    http://my.donews.com/riichiie/2006/02/05/搬家。/
    http://my.donews.com/ecko/2006/02/05/无辜的分割篇/
    http://nookren.wordpress.com/2006/02/03/wordpress/
    http://www.vxii.com/blog/article.asp?id=278
    http://ginger.blogsome.com/
    http://my.donews.com/darktea/2006/02/02/wordpresscom上不去了/
    http://my.donews.com/davidschiang/2006/02/02/仍然选择了wordpress/
    http://my.donews.com/13121982/2006/02/01/wordpresscom-dead/
    http://ffxk.com/modules/wordpress/129

    Note: WordPress.org is not currently blocked in China. I access blocked sites from within China via Tor and Anonymouse.org.

  19. http://jayajha.wordpress.com/2005/09/27/bloggercom-vs-wordpresscom/#comment-573

    Blogger.com/blogspot.com seems to be blocked for quite some time in China I guess. If Google needs to be the one to tell Chinese government what to block and what not to, we would expect them to maintain silence about blogger ;) :))

    So, much for WP+Yahoo vs. Google :D

  20. Google has told Chinese users not expect Blogger and Gmail for some time in China until they can deliver the full goods.
    -- Official Announcement::

    As for WordPress, I'm constantly searching for a independent Chinese Blogger. But I seem to have got a comment in my own blog when I posted the news..
    http://chronotron.wordpress.com/2006/02/04/wordpresscom-blocked-in-china/ (No I AM NOT ADVERTISING MY BLOG) http://mian.wordpress.com/about/, this seems to be her about page and she says she's from China...

    Says, she's able to access it behind a proxy. Well, I'm still searching for one more known chinese blogger to confirm this.

  21. chronotron, I will let you know next week when I get back.
    Looks like I will need to have my own host or use proxy. What a pain.

  22. It seems i can visit WP now.Beijing.

  23. Anyone who works for a company that restricts web browsing (most large corporations these days) has experienced something like China's internet connection. You sit at your desk and try to access online games or comics or adult material, and the request from your computer is blocked by the company's IT dept. The gaming site never even received the request from your browser.

  24. I can access wordpress.com again too now from within China without a proxy. Let's hope it stays accessible.

  25. Excellent!

  26. This seems to be good news..

  27. Short lived. It's inaccessible again. Some websites become accessible and inaccessible quite regularly in China. I often have trouble with Apple.com - of all sites - for example and sometimes need to try a few times before I am able to access it. I think with Apple it may have something to do with the way Apple handles traffic through akadns.net. It seems that domain name rerouting triggers the firewall. For example, I can't access my brother-in-law's website via the domain http://www.tywilkins.com/ (I think he uses GoDaddy to do the domain name redirecting) but I have no problem accessing it directly via http://www.portfolios.com/profile.html?MyUrl=TY . Could it be that WP.com is doing some sort of domain name rerouting to handle requests coming from various parts of the world that is triggering the firewall, as the case seems to be with Apple? (I don't really know much about networking so my apologies if my theory is completely wrong or incomprehensible).

    Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised to see off and on access to WP.com for a while - better than none though, right?

  28. Blogsome was blocked by the Not-So-Great Firewall of China back last June as reported here. We moved to a new distribued sytem recently which involved a change of ip with the result that we were back in the clear from China. Sadly it lasted only a couple of weeks before we were blocked again.

  29. Larryau: It really isn't a suprise, seeing that wordpress is one of the few blog providers to volunatry censor their contents in China...

    Just in case anyone thinks there's merit in the above, the only content we're actively censoring are spam and seo blogs which nobody likes anyway. It's the Chinese Government that is doing the blocking.

  30. And now it works again. Anyone else in China able to confirm this on again off again behavior?

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