Sunday, September 05, 2004

An automated filter placed in the People's Republic of China has made it so any sort of e-mails or websites that contain key phrases and words will be blocked out from people's reading. Mind you, this would be completely without context (most computers aren't smart enough to figure that out yet), but words would get banned nonetheless.

So, being that the Chinese government isn't too hot on democracy, understandably, the word "democracy" has been banned. But, what if you happen to be writing something to do with the failure of democracy? Given the denial of the Chinese government of the Tienanmen Square massacre in 1989, the word "Tiananmen" is understandably banned as well. But, what if you were backpacking through China and wanted to e-mail your friends via web cafe, and wanted to MEET there? Obviously, that meeting isn't going to take place. Or, it'd have to beheld somewhere else (because you can't say something like "Fifteen minutes from Tiananmen Sqaure.").

Words like "Christian", "Fulan Gong", and "Human Rights" are understandably blocked as well. As expected, "Sex" is blocked as well. Never mind the fact that safe sex resources and education are needed in all societies.

So, understandably, this site has been banned too. I just need to e-mail a few of my relatives in Hong Kong to see if it works.

ADDENDUM (Sept 5, 9:33). According to my friend's left-behind comment (and he spent a few months in Hong Kong and China a while ago), there is no on-line censorship in Hong Kong and certain parts of Sourthern China. Take that, Big Brother! (or would that be ge-ge?)

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