Update (2009.06.08): Twitter is now accessible on the mainland.
And… there we have it.
Michael Anti was right after all:
Danwei: In terms of new media, do you still feel that in China censors could control everything that’s happening in this area － you once said that if they shut off twitter, for example, it would be very easy, and information will just not get out.
Michael Anti: Twitter is a new thing in China. The censors need time to figure out what it is. So enjoy the last happy days of twittering before the fate of Youtube descends on it one day. [Emphasis added]
By the way, I want to point out that the Chinese Twitterland is funnier than the English one, for a Chinese tweet can have three times the volume of an English tweet, thanks to the high information intensity of the Chinese language. 140 Chinese characters can make up all the full elements of a news piece with the “5 Ws” (Who, What, Where, When and HoW). But the joy of the Chinese Twitterland is more fragile, and I hope that it will live longer in this country.
The block seems to be a URL keyword filter. Googling for “twitter.com” resets the connection, as does including the string “twitter.com” in any other URL. Access to the service is fine through proxy or VPN.
Update: It seems that photo sharing website Flickr.com has been blocked.
Update 2: Bing.com (the new Microsoft search engine) is gone too, probably for autoplaying Youtube videos when you put your mouse over them.
Update 3: Live.com and Hotmail.com have gone under. But MSN messenger seems fine.
Blogspot and Youtube remain blocked.
Update 03.06.09: Hotmail.com is back, but Live.com is still be having problems loading.
For the latest updates on the state of Twitter and other net destinations, please go to Danwei’s Net Nanny Follies category
- New York Times news blog: China’s Great Firewall Blocks Twitter
- The London Times: Chinese censors cut off Twitter, Hotmail and Flickr
- Wall Street Journal China Journal: Twitter goes down in China
- Financial Times: Media censored on Tiananmen