One of the unexpected consequences of the great time.com blog blowup of 2008 is that the China Blog is no longer easily accessible in China. Regular time.com blog readers will recall that in late October our servers experienced some sort of meltdown. In order to correct things in a hurry before the presidential election, our Web overseers slaved heroically to move our blogs to WordPress. Hurray, blogs saved!
But there were some consequences. Commenters were forced to re-register, our archives have disappeared and most painfully to us here in China, our blog is blocked. The China Blog and time.com are occasionally blocked on the mainland when we write something that upsets the authorities or China’s web censorship czars are in clampdown mode during a politically sensitive period. The problem now is that all WordPress blogs are blocked on the mainland. That sort of wholesale restriction has happened to other blog host sites, and seems to be related to the fear of Chinese bloggers writing whatever they want on blogs that are hosted overseas.
Our tech wizards are working on some sort of fix so that the China Blog will once again be available in China without a workaround. Until then we can only look back wistfully at the days when a single post would generate a debate with 100+ comments. But I now see why the authorities like censorship. With our blog blocked in China, there are far fewer commenters who log in and label us idiots. Censorship, it seems, has confirmed our brilliance.