Saturday, July 18, 2009
I guess it is some sort of distinction that the Chinese government thinks my posts are worth censoring. My US-based blog (at Typepad) is blocked in China, but I always figured that was because some enthusiastic official saw some transgressive post years ago and nobody has ever bothered to take another look since.
In response to the blocking of the US-based blog, I set up another blog inside the Great Firewall, and simply copy all my posts here onto that one. This makes the blog easily readable inside China. Very occasionally blog posts get deleted by the blog host (Sina.com), and the one I posted recently on the tax fine levied on Xu Zhiyong's Open Constitution Initiative was one such post. I don't know if Sina.com did it themselves out of an excess of caution or whether they were told to do so.
Anyway, an interesting straw in the wind.
UPDATE July 19, 2009: A commentator correctly points out that the deletion may have been made by Sina.com on its own initiative without waiting for an order from some authority. Thus, the attribution of this action to the government may not, strictly speaking, be correct. On the other hand, the government does not escape responsibility. The action took place within a system where blog hosts are supposed to judge which posts are likely to be deemed unacceptable and delete them, or else face consequences later.