How China’s “harmonizing” of the Internet works

How China's
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY — The Huffington Post media mavens did this hilarious mashup of Donald Trump saying the word “China” over and over again. He really seems to be obsessed with it. CHI-NA! It’s HUUUGGE! Anyway, I thought I’d share the video with friends in China. So I grabbed the video off YouTube and uploaded it to, China’s homegrown version of YouTube. The upload was successful, but it was not made public. Here’s the message that comes up on my user page. Has been shielded, according to the provisions of audio-visual management 已屏蔽,根据视听管理规定处理 Putting it more bluntly, “Your video was too political and we nuked it.” In China, this is euphemistically called “being harmonized,” a reference to the previous president’s deeply held wish that Chinese people live in a “harmonious society.” Or, in other words, in a society where people don’t make waves. My timing was probably off, as the current leadership prepares for a gala celebration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Japanese Occupation. China’s net nannies typically go into full swing before any major national event, including holidays and anniversaries they’d prefer to forget, like the June 4, 1989, suppression of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. ...

Bringing cluelessness to new levels, housewife demolishes evolution

So, I just caught this viral video on YouTube. In it, an Illinois housewife, Megan Fox, gives us a creationist’s total takedown of the Field Museum in Chicago. It just begs for fisking, but Wonkette beat me to it, so read Doktor Zoom’s takedown of the takedown, and marvel at Ms Fox’s complete failure to understand science, biology, evolution and even museums. I pity her kids.

Control? Open Channel C!*

JISHOU, HUNAN — There are almost a quarter million Chinese studying in the USA now, and many more who want to study in the States if they had the chance — my students among them. But a Chinese (or really any international) student coming to the USA faces a lot of challenges: the language barrier, the writing barrier, cultural differences, different attitudes about dating and sex. I do my best to explain the differences, but my experience as a college student was three decades ago. So, my information is perhaps somewhat out of date. A few months ago, I stumbled upon Channel C. Three Chinese students studying at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Pan Fangdi 潘芳迪, Niu Muge 牛牧歌 and Cecilia Miao 缪思 (Miao Si), began the project in an effort to bridge the cultural gaps between Chinese students and their non-Chinese classmates. They have their own YouTube channel and also one on YouKu, the Chinese version of YouTube. Although the three are now in different cities in the US and China, they still manage with the help of team members Ye Du 叶杜 and Stephanie Sykes to produce cogent and interesting videos about career advice, dating advice, language learning, EDM ...

The Great Firewall now blocks Facebook 4

JISHOU, HUNAN — Sometime in the last week, China’s Internet gatekeepers decided to block Facebook, thereby cutting off my students (and thousands of other Chinese users) from communicating with their Facebook pals. I can still use FB, but now I have to go through the Tor proxy network. Whatta pain. China’s net nannies have been on a campaign recently to lock down the Internet, obstensibly to shut off access to pornography, but coincidentally to limit access to sites critical of the government. Given the recent riots in Xinjiang between Muslim Uighurs and local Han (the ethnic majority in China), one can only guess why Facebook has been banned here. The media site,, is now also blocked, too. Danwei’s writers are openly critical of Internet censorship in China, and provide links to news sites that are less biased than the official government sources. For example, if you believe CCTV-9, the international arm of the state TV media, everything is just peachy keen in Xinjiang, where more than 150 people were killed earlier this month and where the army is patrolling the streets to prevent more outbreaks of ethnic violence. CCTV-9 interviewed a Westerner who teaches at a university in Urumqi, ...

China restores access to, other sites still blocked

JISHOU, HUNAN — Ever since I arrived here last fall, China’s net nannies have blocked Livejournal, the popular blog site. Mysteriously, today, I was able to visit my daughter’s blog with no problems. is also now accessible. Just last week, it wasn’t. Even more strange, I was briefly able to access a site, then promptly lost that ability. The Great Firewall has been blocking and for a couple of weeks now., alas, remains verboten.

Great Firewall blocks

JISHOU, HUNAN — Lest its population catch wind of the true situation in Tibet, the Chinese government has blocked access to all of with China’s mighty Great Firewall. It seems too many videos of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetan monks ended up on the video-sharing site. The BBC has more details, but I can confirm I cannot access Youtube without running through the Tor network. Maybe the Tibetan resistance can put the videos on vimeo, too.

The Sarah Palin video that YouTube pulled off its site

JISHOU, HUNAN — Bruce Wilson, at Talk to Action, has been researching the connection of Gov. Sarah Palin’s churches to an extreme Christian dominionist movement called the “Third Wave.” His team posted part of their documentary on YouTube, which killed the video just as it was creeping into the top 10 most viewed clips on the site. The video, first of three parts, is now being hosted elsewhere. Christian dominionism is a polite way of saying, “Christians taking over the US government, and maybe rewriting the Constitution to include ‘Biblical’ principles.” The Third Wave movement is even more extreme in these efforts, so much so that even conservative pentecostal churches are worried. Both the Wasilla Assembly of God Church and the Juneau Christian Center appear to be part of the Third Wave movement. Wilson has many more details at Talk to Action’s website. Here’s the video, to pique your curiosity. Palin’s Churches, Thomas Muthee, Witchcraft and The Third Wave from Bruce Wilson on Vimeo.
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