It seems some time since I’ve blogged about a major site being blocked in China, but with the National People’s Congress in full-swing and the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising less than a week away – it appears the Net Nanny has quashed access to the world’s largest video sharing site, YouTube.
Rick Martin, for Inventor Spot, had this to say:
This block appears to be purely preemptive, and a quick search of youtube for “Tibet” doesn’t show anything out of the ordinary that Chinese censors might find more subversive than usual. But this kind of action certainly makes one wonder if we might see a Twitter block in China this year as well (knock wood). Don’t be surprised if this current youtube situation lasts until March 10th, unless the inevitable backlash from the western media gets to hot for the Chinese authorities.
Starting at some point yesterday access from various cities around China began to drop off. I was on YouTube late last night and it was working faster than usual (likely due to the lack of Chinese traffic), but this morning access was dead. Just checking a moment ago, I was able to access it. Similar reports via Twitter have shown the block hitting ISP after ISP across the country.
There have been no reports of similar blocks with Chinese video sharing sites Youku.com or Tudou.com, likely because the sites are held accountable for their content by government agencies, and therefore are much more on top of self-policing potential trouble-causing videos that appear on the sites.
We’ve started a Twitter topic hash, #youtubeblock, where you can follow updates on the block and YouTube access across the country.