Facebook Blocked in China
This doesn't bode well for 08.08.08 and beyond: just a few weeks after launching its service in China, Facebook has been blocked.
As of 4:26pm EST, are any NowPublic members in China able to access it?
Danwei readers in Beijing reported earlier today that Facebook seemed to be blocked. It was accessible in Shanghai this afternoon, but now seems to be blocked nationwide.
Technical glitch? Government crackdown? As always with the Web in China, it’s very hard to say. Facebook didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. China’s censors don’t discuss which sites they target – or, for that matter, the fact that they block sites at all. And enforcement often varies between regions and even between Internet service providers. Indeed, users in at least some other parts of the country were able to access Facebook Tuesday, even as some in Beijing couldn’t.
Experts say the mystery behind China’s methods are part of the system’s sophistication. While in some countries, users are notified when they are trying to access blocked content, Web surfers in China get connection “timeout” or “reset” messages, which might seem like a common computer error. In addition, sites aren’t always entirely blocked; for example, Facebook’s homepage was blocked for some yesterday, but users could access other parts of its site if they logged in through other URLs. English-language Wikipedia, once widely blocked, is more accessible these days, but repeated clicks on a link to Wikipedia page about a taboo subject matter will cause a browser to be locked out of the entire site for several minutes or longer (Chinese Wikipedia reportedly can only be accessed through secure connections) . Yahoo’s photo-sharing site Flickr is mostly accessible, but users in China have to add complimentary software to their browser to make sure they can access all their photos.