China: Flickr filtered

The distinct 2.0ness with which an unprecedented environmental protest was carried out last week in southern China's seaside Xiamen city seems to have resulted, as of June 7, in the service of two websites key to the exclusive blog coverage of the event being disrupted:, where live updates from the streets of Xiamen were being posted, and Flickr, where searches for keywords like ‘antipx’ and ‘xiamen’ bring back hundreds of images from the demonstration and later clashes with police and soldiers.

Lian Yue, columnist for Guangzhou‘s Southern Metropolis Daily and Bullog blogger had his personal blog blocked in early May, at the peak of many articles he wrote on the planned Px chemical plant.

Asks prominent bridge blogger and Fujian native Yee:

“Any reasons of baning this excellent photos share websites? So many! Especially in this June, like Xiamen people's march against PX project happened on 1st June and someone did a live report of the whole process on flickr.”

Buchong, one of the few bloggers who brought the Chinese blogsphere the Xiamen protest updates, at just before midnight Beijing time on June 7 writes on his Fanfou—a Chinese version of Twitter—of speculation that Bullog's having been blocked might not have been an official move:


[Inside story] Bullog has been attacked, fans of Fang Zhouzi [an IT professional living in the US who just the day prior was booted from Bullog following a personal spat with its owner, Luo Yonghao] are suspected. Fans of Luo and Fang are playing up their supporters’ opponent's shortcomings, blowing things out of proportion, all very unreasonable behavior. That these kinds of things happen under the flag of scientific development is really hugely ironic.

A look at ex-Bullog blogger He Caitou's personal blog shows a post today, via a far more detailed version at the highly-read wikipedian Shi Zhao's blog, telling readers how to get past the Flickr block:





修改的时候,选择记事本或者写字板打开这个文件,你将看到: localhost

然后请在下面加两行,加好以后应该是这样的: localhost

According to my experience, Big Brother need only keep patient and wait and the people in his heart will be coming! This time it's Talk blogger Shi Zhao. He doesn't just let you see the way, but lets others see it too. Please visit here for a [Flickr] photo showing a temporary method for visiting Flickr.

In the Windows XP system, the Hosts file is usually located at: C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

While you're making changes, open the file [Hosts] in either Notepad or Wordpad and you will see: localhost

Then below that add these two lines so that in the end it looks like this: localhost

Then save, presumably.

On top of Bullog being gone for the moment and Flickr photos showing up empty boxes, service was temporarily disrupted on June 7 at several English-language China-based blogs hosted by DreamHostBokane, Sinosplice and the China Blog List—as well as expat blog Sinocidal having seemingly been blocked the same day.


  • Instead of the “another brick” in the Great Wall, I prefer “crack” in the seawall analogy.

    for sure, the authorities are “cracking down” and heads are rolling, but holding back the inexorable tide of the information age is like that li’l ol Dutch boy (hence the cracking wall.).

    Yes, this may sound naive at the moment, but for those of us who remember Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the economic and “human interest” changes with China are stunning.. Several hundred million middle class people increasingly more engaged in/on the world market, traveling, et al, will not be able to be “held back” in the long run…

    As General Patton said, “fixed fortifications are a monument to man’s stupidity.” Thus it will be with Chinese firewalls, bit by bit (yes with some setbacks)as China modernizes, seeks, questions, stirs the pot… we might as well get used to it.

    I salute the bloggers, protestors, et al.. they will see their vision upheld, even if its a bit different than what we Yanks, Europeans, or other democratical/industrial countries aspire to.

  • […] Flickr filtered China blocks photos from Xiamen protest […]

  • […] Kennedy of Global Voices links the Net Nanny’s latest temper tantrum to recent protests in Xiamen, where photos of the […]

  • […] For more on the Flickr filtering, see John Kennedy’s post at Global Voices: Flickr filtered. […]

  • Anyone else try the Flickr unfilter Host approach? I gave it a go but it only seems to work for less than half the photos, I guess(!) the reason being that Flickr has 5-6 “farms” or so and this only puts in the first two. Shi Zhao has more methods listed and I’ll give them a try or translate them if anyone wants.

  • […] Konrad Lischka. Quelle: Spiegel Online. Vgl. Eintrag in Global […]

  • […] For Flickr users in China By Richard Barton Flickr is filtered in China:China: Flickr filtered […]

  • […] Global Voices John Kennedy reported earlier , the reason of banning Flickr may be the photo-report of the Xiamen protest that made its way to […]

  • […] get any developments”, said Flickr CEO Stewart Butterfield on the help forum. As Global Voices John Kennedy reported earlier, the reason of banning Flickr may be the photo-report of the Xiamen protest that made its way to […]

  • […] they DO these things? How many guys do they have working on this enormous censoring system? Other blogs links this to recent enviromental protests against the building of a big chemical plant. Some of the […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site