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Banned From Google In China - How To Work Around It
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For users in China, you may have not noticed the recent change in the way China censors the Internet. While in the past, China's censorship has simply "blocked" sites by forcing them to time out, or completely removing them from search engines. Now they seemed to have improved their censorship technology a great deal, or at least expanded its range to block out certain keywords. Two of the most recent term to be banned from Google search in China are "Facebook" and "Youtube".

It's pretty obvious that Facebook is banned in China, and it's also pretty easy to unblock it. Two of the most popular ways to access Facebook and other blocked sites in China are with proxies and virtual private networks. Both of these methods change the IP address of the user and allow access to blocked sites in China on phones as well as computers. A simple Google search will turn up hundreds of results for companies targeted at users in China trying to unblock sites.

However, with Google search automatically timing out with any mention of these newly banned keywords, it means that the user is going to have to spend a lot more time and effort to find the results he or she is looking for. In English, that's not an issue for many of the expats and tourists in China. For Chinese users, limited English vocabulary means that they're really going to have to stretch their knowledge of English to find and get signed up with one of these proxy or virtual private network services. This is just the result the Chinese government that the Chinese government is looking for.

Now to the good stuff. How can you get proper search results for banned keywords? Remember, if the site it banned, then you're going to need to change your IP address to be able to access the site. But if the site is not banned, and you simply want to get proper Google search results, all you need to do is misspell the banned keyword.

Google is clever, it will fix it automatically for you, and China won't know the difference. For example, a search for "Facebook in China" will get you banned from Google search and even from connecting to any site for a minute or two. A search for "Face Book" or "Faceboook" (with three "o"s) will give you a little note that they're "Showing results for Facebook. Search instead for Faceboook." The same will work for other banned keywords.

China has not put out a ban on IP changing tools like web based proxies and virtual private networks, and oddly enough, these terms are not banned yet. However, the future of the Internet in China is still very vague and dim, so I can't say that the same will be true a few months from now.


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