China blocks Twitter, Flickr and Hotmail ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

“Internet crackdown blocks “young generation” as leading dissident is detained in Beijing”

Visit this link to read the full story on The Guardian website, by Tania Branigan in Beijing.

This is very sad indeed! I was in China in 2007, I was the film maker accompanying a group of young people, youth workers and teachers that visited Guangzhou. We were out there for 10 days, and to keep the parents of the young people informed of what we were doing, I set up a blog so everyone to keep up to date with events.

The blog was innocent enough in terms of content, but after about 3 days of being there it was banned by the censors and we could no longer access it. To get around the ban, I had to email the young people’s writing and photos back to England via any email account I could get working to Jemma back in the office, with full instructions (from memory) of how to upload content into the blog.

Luckily we still had access to Flickr so I uploaded photos there, copied the URL to embed the photos, and emailed a whole chunk of HTML that Jemma could be just paste into the blog window. (I’ve never thought of myself as a geek, but it actually worked!!!)

Parents were updated every day not knowing we were victim of the communication block. They would have been very concerned if we/they had lost communication!

I can only hope that the Chinese authority come to their senses and realise that they can’t win the battle to censor the internet. I admit they are giving it a damn good go, but it is a battle they will ultimately lose. If they ban enough sites hopefully it will just crash their servers and their censor wall will come tumbling down.

Here’s hoping that now that this blog will be banned,  it will be the straw that breaks the dragon’s back.

[There’s me, top of the photo, concentrating on not dropping anything from the chopsticks!]


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