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September 2, 2011

Is Your Site Being Blocked?

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Currently, there at least some 22 countries that block some websites, even more that block VOIP services. China alone represents a block that can restrict access to your site to over 1 billion people.

Though there are ways around most of these Internet blocks, few within the countries impacted have the means and ability to do so, making those blocks, for the most part, at least somewhat effective at limiting communication.

The sad truth is that, though some strides have been made in promoting freedom of access online, many countries are tightening their grip. Recent news from Iran indicates the country tightening its grip and increasing its filtering. Turkey has also seen a similar tightening of Internet restrictions.

But blocking goes well beyond countries. Though less nefarious in nature, many companies and households also use blocking technology to restrict who can access certain sites. Whether the goal is to increase employee productivity or prevent minors from access adult content, the results are often the same.

So is your site being blocked? Are people who might want to visit your site barred from accessing it and, if so, what can be done about it? Here’s a quick look at the current web filtering landscape and what it means for your site. read more

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March 1, 2011

Groupon enters UAE; gearing for world domination

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Deal-of-the-day website Groupon has officially entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Operating under the website www.groupon.ae. The company will initially serve Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and slowly into other cities in the coming months. With UAE, the company now brings its presence into 43 countries around the globe and savings of about $1.8 billion for its members.

Despite competition from other daily-deal sites, including its ex-suitor Google, Groupon has managed to cement its foothold in different countries, using the principles of collective buying that delivers new revenue streams to local businesses. Its massive membership, coupled with thirst for daily deals, is a natural come-on for all kinds of businesses to offer deals.

“Groupon’s expansion to United Arab Emirates is another step in our development as a global Internet brand,” said Rob Solomon, president and chief operating officer of Groupon. “Groupon UAE will change the face of the local collective buying market, leveraging the best practices Groupon has pioneered in more than 40 countries around the globe.”

The entry to UAE came right after announcing its entry to China by launching Gaopeng.com, a collaboration with local-based Tencent.com. What is important here is the potential to tap into the world’s biggest Internet population with more than 457 million users.

The company just recently announced that it has raised an additional $16.12 million in funding led by Ted Leonsis, vice-chairman emeritus of AOL.

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June 29, 2010

Google Taking A New Strategy In China

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Google.Com.Hk Website screenshotWhen China said they would stop citizen’s from using Google’s uncensored search results the search giant began operating their servers out of Hong Kong, an area of China that doesn’t have the same censorship laws as the rest of the country, now Google is taking a whole new approach to provide Chinese citizens with uncensored search results.

In a post today Google said China would not allow the Google.cn redirection to occur, so they are providing a landing page at Google.com.hk which then lets users click on a link to head to the uncensored China search page.

Here’s the Google blog post: read more

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November 1, 2009

Must See: Kaiser Kuo on the China-US Gap

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For anyone even remotely interested in China (from any perspective) you need to watch this talk by Kaiser Kuo entitled Shouting Across the Chasm: Chinese and American Netizens Clash in Cyberspace.

If you’ve ever made a comment or written a blog post about Chinese censorship, nationalism, human rights, economic development, whatever — this talk is relevant and will likely make you reexamine the way you think, and more importantly the way you speak, about China. Few people articulate the complexities of China-related issues as well as Kaiser Kuo, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it done as well as he’s done here. read more

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October 16, 2009

China Continues to Build The Great Firewall

The Lost Laowai blog has updated its list of blocked website in China. New additions include Friendfeed, Vimeo and URL shorteners Bit.ly and Post.ly, to just name a few. These sites and services join Twitter, YouTube, WordPress.com and TypePad blogs, Facebook, Tumblr, and a bunch of other sites where you can speak your mind. See the post for more on this.

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June 2, 2009

China Blocks Twitter and Bing, Rest Of Web Too

It seems as if China is blocking Twitter as well as Microsoft’s new search engine Bing. Other blocked sites is WordPress.com, YouTube, Flickr, Hotmail and several others. Ryan McLaughlin blogs from China and thinks the block is due to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4.

I can only predict the next few days will see more and more sites being blocked, hopefully with things returning to normal shortly after (though if past blocks are anything to go by, it could be weeks or months).

Hat tip: Mashable

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April 24, 2009

China Blocks Plurk, Twitter Next?

It seems as if microblogging service Plurk is blocked in China, at least according to Amir Salihefendic who works on the project. TechCrunch seemingly confirms. Bad news for Chinese Plurk lovers, and users who in any way like to communicate with people in China.

Does this mean that Twitter is next?

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March 25, 2009

China Bans YouTube

Video browsers in general, and bloggers in particular, should know that China has blocked YouTube. The Reuters report tells us that the ban has been in place over the past 24 hours, and the reason is supposedly unknown. However, Committee to Protect Bloggers posted this:

Xinhua, the Chinese news agency reported that the government blocked access to the site after a fabricated video showing C hinese police brutally beating up Tibetans during the riots last year. The description of the offending video fits one that was posted by the Tibetan government in exile and is a collage of varios clips showing the police putting down the riots brutally.

This is not the first time YouTube is banned in China. Several other countries have bans in effect as well. More on Techmeme.

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June 9, 2008

How Do You Know If Your Blog is Banned or Blocked?

bannedIn Has Your Blog Been Banned or Blocked?, I asked if your blog has been blocked or banned and how you found out, and what you did about it, if you could do anything. I recently published How to Access Banned WordPress.com Blogs in response to WordPress.com blogs being blocked and recent problems I’ve had trying to access my blogs and Gmail from various hotels and corporate WIFI firewalled networks.

From the stories people have shared, blocks and bans can happen from a variety of sources, not just from within a country. Blocks are in place within businesses, libraries, educational institutions, hotels, and even Internet cafes.

When a friend asked me how would she know if her blog was blocked from any potential readers, I thought it was a question worth investigating. How do you know if your blog is blocked or banned?
read more

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June 7, 2008

Has Your Blog Been Banned or Blocked?

I recently published How to Access Banned WordPress.com Blogs, and a friend asked me how would she know if her blog is banned by a country, government, Internet Provider, company, school, or otherwise. Good question.

On Monday, I’ll be publishing a feature article on how to find out if your blog is banned and offer some options to get your blog off a ban or blocked list, but what about you?

Has your blog been blocked or banned by a government, educational institute, corporation, or web filtering service or program? How did you find out? Did you find out why your blog was blocked? Were you unable to get your blog unblocked?

Share your story with us.

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