It might as well be a Monday morning ritual — I have to apologise to my housemates and houseguests for my boorish behaviour the previous Friday night. Everyone else had gone to bed, I was reviewing the many awesome entries for the online learning video festival, and between my heavy feet, my clumsy snack preparation, and my many whoops, giggles and groans I apparently made quite a racket.
I also had lots of late-night fun firing URLs into the Great Firewall of China site, which tests whether sites are safe for Chinese consumption. Like all censorship regimes, the logic of what is acceptable and what is not is tough to fathom. From what I can determine, all WordPress.com sites are blocked, whereas blogger.com and most blogspot.com blogs get through fine (perhaps Automattic should cut a Google deal, or help round up dissidents like Yahoo does). The most innocuous Wikipedia articles don’t seem to make it through, at least not in English.
The first URL I tested was my own of course, and I’m too hot for Beijing (see image above). I wondered if it was the weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca domain, but I tested the root URL and numerous other blogs we host (including ones with fairly pointed political commentary) and mine was the only one on the redlist.
What could I have done to merit such recognition? Perhaps some cog in the machine thought posts like this one or this one were impolite. Then again, maybe they’re trying to keep their information ecosystems clear of trash — and who could blame them?