Thursday, March 28, 2013

Facebook blocked in North Korea, Iran, Cuba and 'another country,' says state media

Facebook blocked in North Korea, Iran, Cuba and 'another country,' says
state media
Amy Li

If you have blocked Facebook, then at least have the guts to admit it.

Apparently this doesn't work for China's censors, who, of course, have
also said on numerous occasions that there is no internet censorship in

This might explain why in a recent article published on a website run by
the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technolgoy, readers
are given an ambiguous, yet amusing account of the status of Facebook in
the country.

Here goes the lead:

"Myanmar recently unblocked the popular social networking site Facebook,
which means only four countries in the world still ban the website:
North Korea, Cuba, Iran and another country".

Another country? Since when did China refer to itself in that way?

Does it mean I am now obliged to fill in "'Another Country" in my
passport forms?

Why are state leaders so ashamed of the Great Fire Wall they
single-handedly built? Or do the censors really believe Chinese people
are too stupid to figure it out?

If so, netizens have already proved them wrong.

On China's social media on Thursday, the evasively-worded story
triggered fierce discussion.

"People in 'another country' are unfortunately being forced to tred
'another' path," wrote one. "Where no Facebook is allowed."

"Four-isn't it just the right number for a Majhong game," said another

Other bloggers quickly pointed out that besides Facebook, other popular
websites including Twitter and Youtube remain inaccessible.

Myanmar's government unblocked some foreign websites, such as Facebook,
the BBC, and YouTube in 2011. China, or should we say "another country"
now, only unblocked popular movie website IMDB early this month, an
unexpected move which many considered a sign more changes were coming.

If the changes are really coming, let's hope they will be in the right

After graduating from the University of Missouri with a master's degree
in journalism, Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news
reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in
2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern
University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu and started an
environment blog, Green Bullet, before joining SCMP in Hong Kong. She is
now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at

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