Net Nanny Follies

Blogspot unblocked and Nanny's Little List

Blogs on Blogspot, the Google-owned blog hosting service, are accessible again in China today.

This is the latest episode the Net Nanny's long and silly on-again off-again harassment of Blogspot.

The RSS feed managing site Feedburner, also owned by Google, is also working again in China, which makes one suspect that someone at Google had a word with somebody at Nanny Central.

Unfortunately, this coincides with blogs on the paid service Typepad being blocked. Nanny works in mysterious ways.

This seems like a timely moment to review popular English language websites that are currently inaccessible in China. Please feel free to add to this list in the comments.

UPDATE (January 15): False alarm: both Blogspot and Feedburner are once again inaccessible in China.


Blocked sites
Wordpress blogs
Opera blogs
Typepad blogs—although itself does not seem to blocked

Partially blocked or filtered
Large parts of the BBC website are unaccessible
Flickr—some photos on older servers do not load properly's Image Search and News are unreliable in China and seem to be heavily filtered

Slightly unreliable but probably nothing to with Net Nanny
Danwei readers occasionally report that Facebook is 'acting like its blocked', but to our knowledge it has never actually been blocked

There are currently 17 Comments for Blogspot unblocked and Nanny's Little List.

Comments on Blogspot unblocked and Nanny's Little List

Typepad's on the blocked list again.

Thanks cat, updated above.

Typepad flickered off for a few hours one day last week, but then returned.

i always wondered why we cant access to some websites here in china. is it becuz the government is afraid of us to know sth more and try to use this way to make ppl know less, i mean sometimes what they hide from us is the truth.

like the time when i studied in australia, i heard something really new that beyond my knowledge, and later i started to think, why foreigners can know more and far beyond what we should know ourselves.

i hope someday the government or the media can be more open to us, let us know the truth, what really happened,and feel free to talk about anything with no censor.

i no a program in US called jimmy kimmel live, and there is a part called unnecessary censorship, it's really funny and we can see sometimes the censorship can make something totally wrong and let the outsiders feel that what the characters talk about is really the thing we should censored. highly recommended^^

back to the website thing,i really find annoyed sometimes by having troubles to open some webpages, like when i tried to find some useful info, i just cant open the wikipedia, and it just spend me more time to search on some other sites. but several days ago, i heard that we can use some kina "anonymous" way to log on the wikipedia. here is the link, if u r in china, have a try.


Ahoy, I believe Xanga is usually inaccessible as well. Cheers.

I'm not sure if it's the Nanny or not, but I've always been unable to open documents in GoogleDocs from Beijing (although the index page loads just fine).

Blogspot's not unblocked in Chengdu.

I come across blocked websites daily and they are random, sometimes a video production company in EU, equipment manufacturer in Asia, etc. It requires me to switch over to VPN. Of course the wikipedia is blocked all the time which means I should run VPN all the time, but it makes page loading slow.

I'm actually surprised how many Chinese use VPN, seems like the Net Nanny doesn't work at all. I did a little test where I sent a wiki page for them to check and everybody saw it (more than 300 Chinese).

Yeah, Blogspot continues to be blocked in Guangzhou as well. This has happened before, the Nanny is regional. has been constantly blocked for the last six months or so.

For me a number of sites, including, can't be accessed from time to time in Beijing. It will only happen for a few minutes and then be okay again.

I wonder if the half wits responsible for this censorship policy realize the damage they are doing to peoples perception of China. Just like the censorship of the Chinese feed of CNN it mostly affects the foreigners who live in China i.e. the westerners who are most likely to have sympathy for the issues facing China are constantly reminded of the petty restrictions imposed here.

And for what purpose??

Blogspot and Feedburner are still firmly blocked down here in Guangxi.

The greatest tragedy of the Net Nanny as I see it is the blocking of (hosted on WordPress, I think). Also, Blogspot still seems blocked in Shanghai.

Having only recently started hitting Danwei, i'm guessing i'm the last to know, though i've run a quick search and i can't see it mentioned: Wikipedia is (almost) wholly accessible through

Just for the benefit of anyone without a proxy.

And for the benefit of me, does anyone know how the second layer of the Net-nanny system works? I'm talking about the fact that i can access Wikipedia through a proxy or and it will work for Chairman Mao's bio, the Cultural Revolution, Censorship in the PRC etc etc etc, even Tiananmen Square the place (which includes a brief summary of '89)...when i clicked on Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, the page actually appeared and i watched the scroll bar get smaller and smaller until SLAP - "找不到, page cannot be displayed".

At the time i was imagining a buzzer going off somewhere in Minitrue, followed by an internet policeman launching himself across the room to hit a button to disconnect me and add my IP to a monitoring list.

How's it done, people?

chubb: is not always accessible; for a while last year it was blocked along with Wikipedia.

The problem you mention is caused by reset signals being sent out when sensitive words trip the router's keyword filter. There's a good discussion of the technology here.

Error corrected - Blogspot's blocked again.

So, why does Danwei refuse to use the term "Great Firewall"? I find this term quite apposite, and I find "Net Nanny" boring and overly cute, playing down the seriousness of the imposition. Is there a post somewhere on this topic someone can point me to?

Chris: The short answer is that we're simply accustomed to using the term "Net Nanny" and see no reason to change.

The longer answer is that China's Internet censorship apparatus is nothing like the monolithic wall that the term "Great Firewall" conjures up.* Instead, it's a complex system of IP blocks, keyword filters, and content review conducted by national, regional, and local ISPs as well as content hosts and service providers, and restrictions vary depending on location, visibility, and the phases of the moon.

"Net Nanny" conveys the idea that content management policies are set down by paternalistic government agencies, which actually operate in similar ways in off-line areas as well. "Great Firewall," on the other hand, plays into the idea that the Internet will be a catalyst for political change - revolution - and that the government needs the defense of a Great Wall to keep out the foreign invaders.

*Strictly speaking, the Great Wall is a fairly appropriate metaphor for China's online censorship regime: it wasn't a monolithic structure, nor was it all that effective of a defense. However, that's not the "Great Wall" that exists in public consciousness, so the term "Great Firewall" is still misleading.

See also: Forget the Great Firewall from Silicon Hutong.

Joel, shouldn't that be 'maternalistic government agencies', or conversely 'Net Manny'?

This comment is doubtless my greatest contribution to society since the use of the phrase 'male bimbo' on Shanghaiist compelled me to mention the more concise, clever and equitable term 'himbo', which, along with 'manny', I personally find thoroughly aesthetically satisfying. If these two terms don't provide indisputable proof of the vitality and genius of vernacular culture (sorry, couldn't resist that), I don't know what does.

You're welcome.

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