Monday, October 21, 2013

"Our Man in Shanghai" 21 Oct. 2013

Dear Mike,

You'll find this interesting:

I'm unable to get any page with a YouTube link to display the player. The notice that comes up (inside the player sub-window) is that "The connection was reset while the page was loading." Suggestions for remedies are

  • "The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy. Try again in a few moments.
  • "If you are unable to load any pages, check your computer's network connection.
  • "If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, make sure that Firefox is permitted to access the Web."

I figure the explanation lies in #3. 

China's internet connections to the world-wide web run through Hong Kong (now under PRC control), and the Chinese authorities have taken steps to prevent their children (i.e., citizens) from accessing politically objectionable content by constructing a huge firewall there. Evidently YouTube won't do the censoring for them, so they just censor YouTube.

When I first logged on and called up my browser, your blog home page came right up (as the designated home page). But after a couple of days, I get the same notice as with YouTube.

This indicates that some busy little bureaucrat got notice that a computer somewhere in a Chinese hotel was accessing a new site that needed to be checked out, and the checker-outer assigned to the case came to the conclusion that your site wasn't proper nourishment for the 1.3-billion-plus citizens of China. 

How's that for an historical irony, for an old Maoist? Evidently your website ain't fit for the kiddies in the country where the 100-yuan note still carries Mao's portrait!

Hold firmly to both the gun and Mao Tse Tung Thought!"

Things have considerably loosened up hereabouts (for one thing, the
blue-suited leader would freak at the the youngsters on the street dressed in all manner of Western garb, jeans to high-fashion), but examples of political dissent are highly unwelcome -- even if they're critical of a major rival government.

On the other hand, look at it this way: your blog is on a par with YouTube!

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