Blocked in China

A good friend of ours is touring China right now, and has informed us that our blog is blocked by the Chinese censorship system – AKA the Great Firewall. While I’d like to think that our blog was singled out for our controversial writings on Americanism and beets, it turns out that the entire WordPress.com domain is blocked. Now excuse me while I get nerdy for a second.

Since we’re a modest little blog, the shared (and free) hosting at WordPress.com works fine for us. Shared hosting in this case means that we are a subdomain of WordPress.com. In non geek-speak, this website is part of a larger website. Since WordPress.com is blocked, every blog that is hosted freely as a subdomain is also blocked. China has likely blocked the entire WordPress.com domain because it is easier than filtering through the millions of blogs individually.

So how do I keep up with the Space-Farm Continuum in China, you ask? Follow via email. Our friend in China has reported that while https://spacefarms.wordpress.com is blocked, she is still able to read posts via the email subscription service (See the “Follow via email” section at the top of the right column). Pictures are blocked in the email updates, but the text makes it through. Most of our photos are hosted on Flickr, which I believe is also blocked in China. If our pictures were hosted on a non-blocked site, they might come through as well.

What if I’m a WordPress.com blogger and want my blog to be accessible in China? There are no guarantees, but getting your own domain is likely the first step. This way you’ll be judged alone instead of being grouped with millions of other bloggers under one umbrella site. I’m not sure if hosting a domain with WordPress.com would work. You might have to use a different hosting provider.

TL;DR:
* WordPress.com is blocked in China, so all freely hosted blogs (_________.wordpress.com) there are also blocked.
* Subscribing via email is one way to circumvent the censorship.
* If you want your blog to be accessible in China, buy your own domain or use a different hosting provider.

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