Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Limited World Wide Web

YouTube is back on in China.

For a few weeks, the website joined the list of other blacklisted ones like Wikipedia, BBC and any non-Chinese blogs, such as my own.

There's debate as to why YouTube was blocked.

It happened around the time of the 17th National Party Congress of the Communist Party of China. And some theorize that because the CPC was worried there would be leaks of who would be in the running for President Hu Jintao's job in five years' time, that access was denied.

Others hypothesize this occurred when the Dalai Lama was in Washington to receive the Congressional Gold Medal -- America's highest honour to civilians. They believe there were clips of the Tibetan spiritual leader on YouTube and didn't want the Chinese population to see it, over and over again.

Another theory is that the Chinese version of YouTube was launched in the summer and by blocking the original site, more traffic would go to the domestic one, artificially boosting hits.

But I just discovered that a few days ago YouTube was back on ... as mysteriously as it was blocked.

It's annoying having someone dictating what you can and can't see. Which is why I try to watch BBC World at the hotel gym as often as I can.

It's my own little act of defiance.

There's only so much state-media I can take, when it's all good news, all the time.


IheartNY said...

The consensus was a mere couple of years ago, that the Chinese govt would never be able to restrict WWW activity. Now I wonder if NPR and the BBC will revert to broadcasting websites?

IheartNY said...

HEY. BLOGGER just deleted the word p.i.r.a.t.e. from my previous post. It should read p.i.r.a.t.e. websites.

ks said...

there has to be a limit to anything. there should be law and order. the western media have been too invasive and unfriendly to anything chinese.