August 1 was a strange day here at Shanghaiist. Our site was normal and accessible to pretty much the entire world, including China … except for most people living in Shanghai. This was, obviously, somewhat of a concern to us, seeing how the majority of our readers are in Shanghai and all of our active contributors live in Shanghai — thus, we were unable to update the site for you yesterday.
The strange behavior started shortly after midnight on Tuesday and didn’t let up until shortly after 11 pm. What caused that 23-hour selective Shanghaiist outage (actually, the entire Gothamist Network was inaccessible here) is still largely a mystery to us. Some techies ran the kind of tests that techies run and determined that Shanghaiist should have been accessible in Shanghai yesterday. But we all know it wasn’t. It was probably just some local network glitch, something clogging the pipes, as they say. But that didn’t stop the conspiracy theorists theorizing that we had been placed on some kind of blacklist, that maybe our resident fag hag was too hot for the Net Nanny to handle … some even surmised that this all of this had something to do with People’s Liberation Army Day, that the internet police were using the holiday as an excuse to pound their collective chest.
We find that kind of hard to believe. Why target a little innocuous English-language website like ours? We did notice that not-so-small sites like Amazon and Craigslist were out of commission in Shanghai yesterday, as well — and then started working again at exactly the same time as we did. Network issues, we tell you, network issues. Although, strangely the long-blocked BBC website was accessible yesterday, and still is today. But clicking on most links on the site will take you nowhere.
A weird day, indeed. It’s good to be back.