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Dont Search For Facebook In China - Search FB Or Face Book
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Dont Search for Facebook In China  -  Search FB Or Face Book

It seems like it's that time of the month again for The GFW, and it's leaving users in China saying "WTF". Like a tiger-mom who just can't squeeze enough out of her six year old, China's Internet censors just won't quit. Since about 2009 when some stuff in Tibet and Xinjiang went down, China's been antsy about Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and other blogging or social networking sites. It's been a slow slide down the mud-hill, and every time we start to get use to things, there's changes made and more sites blocked.

In March of this year (2011), Egypt went through some sort of something that was called the "Twitter Revolution" by clever headline writers. Apparently Facebook and Twitter played a large role in helping organize protests. China, in very Chinese fashion, made an attempt to copy this with the "Jasmine Revolution" which was nothing more than a silent fart. That is no one knew about it, but it had some dire consequences, at least for proxy and virtual private network services.

This resulted in the blocking of many popular VPN and proxy sites. Most of the big names had their sites shut down for about a week or two until they were able to get their backup servers running. This also resulted in the permanent blocking of PPTP and L2TP VPN protocols, meaning that iPhone and iPad users are now unable to use VPNs on these devices (web based proxies are still able to be used).

Things seemed to settle down again in towards the end of spring. The VPN sites had recovered, and people were back to finding loop holes in The GFW (Great FireWall). Of course, without warning, China decided to block all searches for "Facebook" on Google and Yahoo!

Now I've got to add the disclaimer that I'm in the Fujian Province, and this might not apply to the whole of China. It's happened before that different parts of China get different levels of censorship. At least in Fujian, we're not able to search the term "Facebook" without getting a "time out" from Google - literally. After searching the term Facebook, I get banned from not only Google searches, but using the Internet entirely.

The interesting thing is that you can still search the term "Face_Book" , "Face Book", or "FB" without a problem. Even searches like "access Face Book in China" produce results that are similar to search results for the site name written as one word. I guess China didn't think that one through all the way. I'm sure that for the time being, those users who are interested enough in gaining access to Facebook in China will be clever enough to get creative and get results.


Street Talk

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