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    Wall Street Journal: Chinese Bloggers Scale the ‘Great Firewall’ In Riot’s Aftermath

    The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story, "Chinese Bloggers Scale the ‘Great Firewall’ In Riot’s Aftermath." The story details the various tricks that Chinese bloggers are using to fool government censors who shut down any Web site that doesn’t toe the official line.

    Some 30,000 rioters set fire to government buildings […] to protest the way authorities handled the death of a teenager in the province’s Weng’an County. While state-controlled media provided immediate coverage, government censors moved fast to delete online posts providing unofficial accounts and deactivate the accounts of those users.

    So bloggers on forums such as Tianya.cn have taken to posting in formats that China’s Internet censors, often employees of commercial Internet service providers, have a hard time automatically detecting. One recent strategy involves online software that flips sentences to read right to left instead of left to right, and vertically instead of horizontally.

    China’s sophisticated censorship regime — known as the Great Firewall — can automatically track objectionable phrases. But "the country also has the most experienced and talented group of netizens who always know ways around it," said an editor at Tianya, owned by Hainan Tianya Online Networking Technology Co., who has been responsible for deleting posts about the riot.

    Read my previous posts about civil rights violations in China here and here.

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