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Access Youtube From China
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Access Youtube From China

There's a lot of controversy surrounding China and it's relationship with Google, Facebook, and western websites. A lot of them are blocked. One of those blocked sites is Youtube, and for many years now, it's been impossible to access Youtube from China. What's so dangerous about Youtube and why should it be banned from Chinese Internet?

At first glance, Youtube seems to be completely useless. If you think about the most famous videos that have come out from Youtube in the past years, you might think about that song "What, What, in the Butt", which is a gay guy singing about gay sex. Or that video where the groundhog looks menacing because someone's added some music to it. Just this year, there was a big deal about "Asians in the classroom" where some college student had a rant about Asians talking on the phone in the library at the university. Are these powerful enough to threaten the power of The Chinese government? Is this why you can't access Facebook from China?

Probably not. There are just as many stupid, racist, or sexual themed stuff circulating on Chinese Internet sites.

Maybe it's the West's attitude toward China, and all the anti-China stuff that gets posted there. There are special groups dedicated to "Free Tibet", or supporting Taiwan's separation from China. Again, there are also lots of individuals making fun of China, or making accusations about activities of The Chinese government. This seems like a more likely reason why you can't access Youtube from China

But this is happening in China as well. Not as much, but it is happening. Chinese Internet is censored, but not the degree that many imagine it, and there are quite a few open forums and discussion areas where people curse the Chinese government. Most of the time, there's no problem, because they're just talking. With 1.6 billion people and tons of those surfing the net, you can't expect to control everything.

It's the "call to action" I believe that keeps Youtube blocked in China. It the idea that Youtube could be used a way to not just encourage revolution (or at least change), but that with sites like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter, you can educate, organize, and get stuff done.

In Egypt this year we saw major political change influenced by Twitter and Facebook. By starting groups, organizing protests, and using these platforms to make sure everyone was on the same page. Rather than individuals here and there that can be easily dismissed, or at least arrested and taken off the page, when you Tweet to 1,000 followers that you've got to meet in the main square to protest, that's powerful.

This power is why we still can't access Youtube from China, and why more sites like this are being blocked. After the thing in Egypt this year, something similar was attempted in China called the "Jasmine Revolution". Nothing came of it, but it sure scared the heck out of the Chinese government and since then, the Internet has quickly become a desolate place as far as Western social media sites are concerned.

The effort still continues to unblocked these site however, and many users are signing up with virtual private networks to bypass Internet censorship. Even these have now become under threat, and the future of the Internet in China is uncertain.


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