In Associate Press’ report, Bullog is said to be an “edgy blog hosting site”, accommodating scores of social and political activists. It looks like a gun powder barrel in this way. However, in the mind of millions of Chinese netizens, Bullog is far more than that, and its forced closing, whether temporary or permanent, is not only a sign of intensifying media crackdown in China, but a tragic end that breaks many's hope to the country.
It's quite emotionally charged. We are sad.
Bullog aggregates a group of shining bloggers, who are indeed influencing China with their opinions. Lian Yue 连岳, for example, is a columnist, also a public intellectual who has advocated the Xiamen PX protest in which people gathered and walked to silently protest a chemical project. He, with his witty insight into daily life, corresponds with readers on things from the most homely triviality to topics that more or less bear political significance.
If Lian-Yue belongs to the moderate, then, Ran Yunfei 冉云飞, on the other hand, is one of those progressive bloggers.
Ran might be the blogger who matches the word “edgy” the best. Calling himself a “bandit”, he has often fearlessly confronted injustice in the degenerating society. This is well illustrated in his many bold articles, like “It is a national shame to have such a government”, “How autarchy is made”, and his “weekly news commentary of Mr. Ran”. Though furious at times, he is patient. His motto is a persistent appeal: “a step every day, no hurry.” Where is the destination he is stepping to, if any? Only he knows.
He railed, criticized and impugned, calling out what people wish to but dare not say; But it's not hard to predict that such plain opinions are ill tolerated. A few weeks before the bullog was shut down, Bullog was forced to remove him.
Luo Yonghao 罗永浩, the owner of Bullog, a guy intimately called “Corpulent Luo” by people, used to be an English teacher. I first know him because of his witty, cool and trenchant remarks that are compiled by some of his students and uploaded online. It seems that what he hates the most is 装B (pretend to be cool), and therefore he must be an unaffected and straightforward man. Later, he resigned from the institute and opened the Bullog.
And there are young writer Han Han, artist Ai, cynic and ironist ProState In Flame, independent blogger Bei Feng and many more. They, men of personalities, men of faith, together shape Bullog into a place of ideas exchange and sincere opinions, with true debates, though it has at times gone a little bit over-exited.
And it is making its way to be a public forum for free discussions and popular opinions. Such is rare, for that it might be thought compatible with neither cultural tradition nor the authoritarian circumstance. But it thrives, and as a collective blog, it opens a new gateway to see the China for many Chinese.
Bullog is rooted in people, hence we are actually affected by it, thanks partly to the “benevolent Great Firewall” (the national censorship network) that tolerates it for so long as two years. Thus it is more influential in spreading liberalism and democratic thinkings than various overseas democratic websites which are banned out of the Chinese internet. And it is associated closely with the current society that it doesn't give up any chance to present its ideas on what are happening on this land.
Bullog used to be a host of the blog named “I don't support Beijing Olympics”, when the government was preparing the Game at any cost; It has questioned why Yangjia, the man killed 6 cops，is sentenced to death without proper legal procedure; It organized a team to deliver relief to the struck areas when in March the earthquake claimed over 80000; it spreads Charter 08, a statement supporting a notable political reform…. All could be intolerable by those determined to shut it down.
Let the comment of scholar Xiao Han to conclude why Bullog matters:
Bullog aggregates many important thinkers in China, who are reasonable, serious, and sometimes incisive and trenchant. They are a very critical cure to keep the modern Chinese society clear-headed. Meanwhile, Bullog takes a good share of the social responsibility it should have. Particularly, in Si-chuan Earthquake, they contributed a great deal to the relief effort.
The Bullog is shut down when an antismut campaign is sweeping across the Chinese internet. But on none of the shut-down lists revealed to the public could Bullog be found. It was assassinated.
Luo Yonghao, the host of Bullog, tells what has happened to the website:
The Beijing Communication Administration now passes on the statement from Beijing Information Office: because Bullog.cn carries a great deal of harmful political and topical information, it has been ordered to make adjustment. But the website makes no change.
That's the reason it is closed. No more explanation, sorry.
Luo goes on:
But after getting up in a joy, I threw myself into deep worry and self-reproach: without Bullog, henceforth, what can people read? If you don't reopen Bullog, would people agree? You have a sound sleep, indeed, but have you considered those sleepless people? What to do??What to do?!
Song Shinan 宋石男，one of the bullog bloggers, moaned with indignation
Shut it down, just shut it down, you can close it for this Spring Festival, but not the entire spring.
Among the domestic meida, Southern Metro Daily(南方都市报) is the only paper that dares to report the closing of Bullog.cn
The history of Bullog in Wiki records the its growth and tribulation.
2007.08.18 Blog “I don't support Beijing Olympics” is shut down
2007.10.19 (During the 17 Conference of CCP) Bullog is forced to shut down at 2 pm
2008.11.24 Blog ProState In Flame is shut down.
2008.12.24 Ran Yunfei's blog is shut down. Before that, he persisted on posting daily (one step every day, no hurry)
2009.01.09 The domestic server of Bullog is shut down, so is Bullog International inaccessible. Some people suggest it might be related to the sweeping antismut campaign in these days. But also it might be because that some of the bloggers signed the 08 Charter. This marked the Chinese political phenomenon has turned left.
But its achievement is amazing:
2008.04.19 Daily page view of Bullog exceed one million
2008.05 After Si-chuan earthquake, Bullog collected over one million on relief fund. Luo led the team himself to the disaster area for relief effort.