Yesterday afternoon, Shanghaiist noticed on its Twitter stream that some China-based users were having problems accessing the newly redesigned (wonderful in fact) Danwei site. Blocked blogger, The Weifeng Radish, noted it can only be accessed by an anonymising proxy. Prolific Shanghai blogger and journalist Fons Tuinstra over at The China Herald popped out a post musing about their situation.
What I think is happening that the filter systems has been partly automated and triggers off an IP-block when it notices a “banned” word. At the current frontpage I see for example both the T-word and the c-word in their recently introduced news aggregator. Wonder whether it will be over again tomorrow.
Last night, Shanghaiist approached Jeremy from Danwei for a comment, and we got a straight-bat response…
We do not know what has happened but are working to resolve the situation.
At the time of writing this morning, Danwei’s site is still down.
So what has happened to Danwei’s site? When Shanghaiist uses an anonymous proxy to access Danwei, there’s nothing obvious like F*G or T*ianamen being talked about. Is it really like Fons suggests, and the wrong word triggered the clamp down? We’re not sure. The recent off-again, on-again fiasco with Blogspot is a good example on how temperamental China’s Net Nanny can be. The askew, cynical conspiracy theorist that lurks somewhere in the back of Shanghaiist’s psyche is bleating that Danwei shouldn’t have kept raising the hands-off treatment that the Australian press have taken on when it comes to Wendi Deng. I’m sure her husband Rupert has some friends somewhere on the internet that can press suspend buttons. According to Slate Magazine, there’s a few reasons why Rupert can’t be trusted.
UPDATE: May 12th
This morning, Danwei is now accessible from Shanghai without using a proxy.