Monday, March 29, 2004

Update: Chinese Blog Ban

Not a whole lot to update, Iím afraid. My initial post (below) stands: International blog hosts such as typepad and are unaccessible to Chinese Bloggers. The companies that run those sites have reported no technical failure on their end and the Chinese government isnít saying much of anything on the matter. The Chinese blog hosts are claiming that itís merely a technical set back that is keeping them down, but their is a lot of suspicion that there is pressure form above to stay off line.

At this point, Iíd like to say that it is difficult to verify any information, as all the claims Iíve been able to find are unsubstantiated posts on blogs No news services have run this story, as far as I can tell. This doesnít mean it isnít happening, of course. Just that the facts are sketchy and often contradictory, hence the lack of any citations that you can hang your hat on. But given the nature of this story, I think it can be safe to assume something shady is going on. This is a major set back to Chinaís image as a country on the verge of freedom.

Jane Perrone, Blogger for the Guradian:

Philip [A Chinese Blogger] writes: 'While the rest of the world may not yet consider blogs a relevant media source, in the People's Republic they are one way for people to make themselves heard. Since the mainstream Chinese press is heavily controlled and websites such as BBC News are blocked, blogs provide an alternative voice.'

This isn't very helpful to what Philip calls the 'new wave of commentators and diarists' who have begun to blog. He believes that the crackdown 'may well be related to the current electoral debacle in Taiwan, plus the publication of a letter regarding the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. Both of these have been widely discussed by bloggers. It would appear that the government, already nervous of the internet, wishes to further suppress blogging as a medium for discussion.'

I want all our Blog Brothers and Sisters in China, and especially in Taiwan, to know that weíre with them on this fight. Keep speaking. If you canít get to your blog, talk about it in the street. Let everyone know that the Chinese Government is suppressing the voices of the people.


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