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How I Became an International Chinese Dissident Without Even Trying
August 7, 2008, AppScout
My name's Brian Heater. I work at PC Magazine. I help run the blogs here - Appscout, Gearlog, GoodCleanTech, Technoride, @Work, et al. In my free-time, I run a comics blog called The Daily Cross Hatch. But you knew all that already, right?
Well, there's something you may not have know about me: I am also a grave threat to the Chinese government. Hell, up until about an hour ago, I had no idea, either.
At Dan Costa's recommendation, I've spent the better part of the afternoon on Website Pulse's China Test site. The app tests the limits of the Great Firewall, determining wheter sites are banned in three cities--Shanghai, Bejing, and Hong Kong. It's something that we've all had on our minds quite a bit in recent months, given the country's purported newfound openness to the outside world, adopted just in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
It's a pretty fantastic tool. Plug the URL of your choosing into the field and the site will check its accessibility against locations in Seattle, Munich, and Brisbane. It's strangely addicting, and I've been busing myself popping in sites like potato chips.
PC Mag: Good
The Daily Cross Hatch: Bad
Wait, whaaaaa? My innocent little comics blog? Hell, PC Mag has Costa himself atop its homepage talking smack about the People's Republic, while we're busing ourselves posting about comics with titles like Angry Youth Comix, My Brain Hurts, and The Fart Party.
Just to be on the safe side, I entered in Effyoucat, another side project launched recently with fellow Appscouter, Kyle Monson. What could China possibly have against an innocent little blog launched with the intention of letter readers post their deepest anti-feline sentiments?
A lot, apparently.
I'm not sure what I did to so deeply offend the government of the world's most populous nation, but somehow I feel like I should be living up to my end of the bargain.
Will democracy ever be able to live in a country that can't have access to indie comics sites and cat blogs? Sadly, I think not. However, for the time being, Chinese citizens can, in fact, has cheezburger.