YouTube goes black in China because of Tibetan Monk beatings

March 26, 2009 1:19 AM EDT

We all know the Great Firewall of China keeps an eye out for anything critical of the Chinese government. Though, one has to wonder how China's billion or so citizens like being blocked out of one of the most popular sites on the Internet -- for no explicable reason.

It isn't just youtube.com that is blocked. The billion or so websites with embedded YouTube videos also won't work for those inside China's government firewalls. That is a lot of Evolution of Dance videos going unwatched.

The Wall Street Journal quoted a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry as saying the government had "taken up management of the [YouTube] network according to the laws."

According to the BBC:

Google said it noticed that traffic to China started slowing down on Monday and that by Tuesday morning, it was totally blocked.

When asked about YouTube at a news conference at the beginning of the week, a Chinese government spokesman said: "We encourage the active use of the internet but also manage the internet according to law."

A report published by China's official Xinhua news agency accused the Tibetan government of faking the wounds. No reference was made to YouTube.

firewall-of-china


I am sure some Chinese government propaganda is being spread around China to explain why the Google owned video site that shows skateboarding dogs and Brittany Spears apologists must be shut down for the sake of the country.

Or maybe China is trying to punish Google for not removing the videos at an earlier request. I'm not sure that YouTube is currently being effectively monetized so the grand total of the governments actions on Google might saving money on server bills.

We may never know what is going on behind the scenes.

But what about the Internet users in China? I really have to wonder how long the connected Chinese citizenry will put up with this type of behavior from their government. Certainly, they have to believe that they are mature enough to be exposed to whatever is out there and able to make their own decisions on what is right or wrong.

Maybe one of these times, they'll get sick of it.

It always seems like something silly starts a revolution ... a Teaparty in Boston, a Beer Putsch in Munich, the YouTube Ban in China?

Probably not.

I am not trying to get too high and mighty here. I don't live in with a perfect government either. We in the US aren't immune to government censorship. Wasn't there something about a ban on seeing soldiers casket's being brought home from the War in Iraq? Was our government trying to "protect us from the truth" or were they really trying to protect the dignity of the soldiers?

Small potatoes?