Isaac at the Harvard Global Voices gathering

Isaac at the Harvard Global Voices gathering, photo by Jeff Ooi.

As some of our readers have pointed out, Isaac Mao's site – – is being blocked. Isaac gives part of the story on his backup site, helpfully titled “Not”:

The site of has been blocked due to it's ‘sensitive’ content. I don't know how long it will take to return. I'm starting emgergency processes now, and will update information in this backup site. Thanks for your attention and kind queries.

(Anyone ever linked to my site for the “sensitive” post about Great Firewall, please kindly trackback here to tell more people what happened)…

Don't worry, it's not so sad thing, it's fun enough~! No experience, no understanding.

The “sensitive content” in question may have been Isaac's very funny April Fools post, where he said that had been blocked, and suggested people visit other, non-offensive websites, including net memes like “How to Fold A Shirt” – his post read, in part: “Isaac Mao was exiled to Siberia… what do you want to visit now?”

Or, it may been the diagram – hosted on flickr – that Isaac linked to, with his speculations on how
the Chinese firewall operates. (Flickr is becoming an increasingly useful tool to help our Chinese friends evade the firewall. In the event that Isaac's flickr post is blocked, here's a copy of the diagram hosted on our servers.)

Isaac believes his blog is intact, but his ISP was ordered to stop resolving the domain name. He's now working to get the domain name to resolve to his backup blog. A number of people (Global Voices included) have offered Isaac hosting for his blog outside of China. Isaac's planning on keeping it in China, seeing situations like this as an excellent chance to learn more about internet filtering in China:

To my personal blog, I'm not so eager to move my blog to oversea's hosting. It's so good to study this space with more local experience. (from a recent email from Isaac.)

One issue Isaac's situation raises is the idea of “blogger adoption”. We may want to look into a system that allows bloggers in relatively free countries to “adopt” blogs in relatively unfree countries and keep backup copies of those sites. When a site is blocked, the adoptive blogger could post a mirror of the site based on the backup. If anyone is interested in trading ideas on how we might hack together such a system, please drop me a line at ethanz AT gmail DOT com.


  • 停留在中国


  • Hi,
    I just read about this website on BBC ( and it seems very interesting. I think I may have a solution to the whole language barrier problem. In my opinion, it would be great if blogs were written in Esperanto ( AND the blogger’s native language. If that were done, anyone (who has learned Esperanto) could understand it. Esperanto is meant to be an international language and is very easy to learn… I myself am learning it right now.

    So how about it?


  • I heard about Global Voices on public radio, on a program originating with BBC. I don’t have the tech skill to help you that way, but I’d be pleased — more than pleased, I’d be honored and thrilled — to adopt a blog that’s blocked in the blogger’s homeland.

  • freespeech

    Play on the border but the border was not wide enough for play. eventually some day, player have to pay for the costs.

    Back to Isaac’s case, he always intention to do something like this to acclaim western’s focus as a model of free speech blogger in China. but you will see, how he will play the role in, keep kind of radical free expression or stay calm. don’t forget that blogbus is one his investment.

    Grassroots movement, free speech even Demacracy was absolutely not free in China, but still have the narrow spaces to survive. Before you shout at the public and push any movements, you should protect this narrow space and other people/blogger’s rights (for free speech) first. always give out some sort of metaphorical black humor to mock the enviroment you are living at but compromised in realistic life and business, that’s not funnny.

  • “Adopt” a blog? Seems like I heard that somewhere else

  • just chatted with someone in guangxhou
    1. the “not Isaac Mao” is blocked on and off and is redirected
    2. the blog is NOT blocked
    3. the site is NOT blocked
    the pageman

  • Steve Chao


    I am the asia correspondent for Canadian Television. Canada’s largest news network. I am looking to get
    in touch with Isaac Mao. If anyone can pass me his contact information, it would be greatly appreciated.
    I can be reached by email at

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