Chinese censorship in action

We often hear about the “Great Firewall of China”, the filter put in place by Chinese censors to prevent access to material that is disapproved of by the Chinese government. For example, there is no access to BBC News. However, for those in the West, it’s usually only possible to read media reports, or hear second- or third-hand about such restrictions.

Last week, the Chinese search engine Baidu launched its own wiki-based encyclopedia called Baike. Unlike Wikipedia – the free, collaborative encyclopedia available in many languages including Chinese – articles submitted to Baike do not appear immediately, but first have to be approved by anonymous editors. In addition, if a user attempts to search for a topic about which discussion is forbidden, the connection to the server is refused, and access to Baike is blocked for 10–15 minutes!

For example, try visiting Baike and searching for “democracy” (民主) or “Falun gong” (法轮功) – you can copy and paste the Chinese words from here if you don’t have the means to input them yourself. Not only will you receive no response, but you won’t be able to access the site again for a while. First-hand evidence of censorship.

Perhaps it’s understandable that a Chinese company has to follow the Communist Party line. It’s a bit more unfortunate that the likes of Google and Microsoft have chosen to do the same.

6 responses to “Chinese censorship in action”

  1. pielover87

    neat

  2. test

    The Great Firewall is bi-directional, so what blocks you from access Baidu for 10-15 minutes after enter those words, not Baidu company, but the Firewall.

  3. idy@yahoo.com

    was concerned in this formerly. nice.

  4. lena

    indeed. wuwu. the worst is that mainland residenter can’t enter any website of hongkong. and ……. On the other hand, there is few positive news on mainland reported by hongkong press. :

  5. lena

    tell you my latest discovery- in some famous website as “sina”, it’s forbidden to type “cultural revolution”( five chinese characters) in the blog.

  6. Amy

    It’s unbelievable that Google and Microsoft follow Chinese way. Chinese donot like this way ourselves, but we have to ( It’s better for us to develope our economics rather than making civil war.History has proved that vox populi cannot overthrow the autarchy of communist Party)

    Does Hongkong website allow you discuss split Hongkong off China? If so, that is useless, as Hongkong belongs to China now.

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