Media regulation

Law blog provider Fatianxia harmonized

The urgent notice

Update (2008.12.25): After a week of downtime, Fatianxia resumed normal operations on the December 24.

Fаtianxia (法天下), a blog host that specializes in law-related content and one of the blog homes of independent journalist Zаn Aizοng and BOB winner Liu Xiаoyuаn, has been forced to suspend service. Here's the notice the site put up yesterday:

Urgent Notice

We have received word from Beijing Netcom that due to the repeated appearance on Fаtianxia of articles that violate relevant national policies and regulations, it will cease providing Fаtianxia servers with an Internet connection as of tomorrow morning (2008.12.16).

Therefore, service on Fаtianxia will be suspended starting tomorrow, and you may temporarily be unable to access the site.

We will strive to restore service; our preliminary estimate is that the suspension will last one to two weeks.

Thank you all for supporting Fаtianxia.

The Fаtianxia Team
2008.12.15 17:40

The notice came early enough that bloggers were able to post their reactions before the server shut down. "On the Road" wrote:

I read the urgent notice saying that the website would soon be inaccessible and felt pretty depressed. Free speech is nothing more than a slogan. Even though there's extreme speech on Fаtianxia, much more of it is sober and rational. Legal types are too good at analyzing and hashing out the facts, and this is what those in power do not care for, at least in China. Just today I read someone's complaint that sites like Tianya and Xici are too harsh in their article deletions and have far too many words on their sensitive word lists, but that isn't entirely without merit. Thousands upon thousands of comments and blog posts every day can't all be reviewed, so setting up sensitive word lists and then inspecting those posts might be the only workable method. Has Fаtianxia considered doing that? I once wrote an article titled "Survival is the top priority." Fаtianxia must first survive before it can talk about development. The posts that need to be deleted should be deleted, and I trust that Fаtianxia users will understand. To protect Fаtianxia, we must take good care of it. What we want is a platform for communication, not an anti-government base.

The website managed to save all of its data and is currently serving up a non-interactive, "harmonized" version whose contents are limited to blog posts about the suspension.

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Comments on Law blog provider Fatianxia harmonized

Thanks for this!
I've set up a group on Douban for those interested in collecting official takedown notices and users' reactions to having content or spaces deleted, 一品蟹家. (link above)

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