Well it seems like they are at it again!!!
As of yesterday, the incredibly popular site, YouTube, has been banned here in the PRC. This comes just over a year after it was last banned during the protests leading up to the Olympics. The statement from the government is: "China's internet is open enough, but also needs to be regulated by law in order to prevent the spread of harmful information and for national security".
This adds to the many popular sites that I am currently unable to access. Apparently the iTunes music store (which I don't use anyway) doesn't work over here, neither does Daily Motion (a competitor to YouTube), and any blogs on wordpress, as well as many other sites somehow related to the two naughty "T" words (T1bet and Ta1wan...if you didn't get it those 1s are supposed to be "i"s). Also, the Chinese version of Skype (called Tom-Skype) filters out the use of a certain four letter "f" word, and reportedly tracks any mention of certain "hot words".
Somehow though, blogger accounts (like this one), pirated music sites, and Chinese video sharing sites (like Youku and Tudou) work just fine.
Apparently one of my friends tried to make a status update on Facebook relating to YouTube not working and it was erased...I highly doubt that is a coincidence. While Facebook is not officially blocked, it can sometimes be "down" or slow for no apparent reason.
While I am not going to comment on the moral grounds for such decisions, I will say this. They sure are frustrating for people like me. I depend on the internet for contact with the outside world as best I can, but situations like this can be more than aggravating.
So if any of you out there my apologies if I haven't kept up-to-date with your blog, or watched the latest Diet Coke and Mentos video, hopefully you'll understand.