Due to what some see as draconian approach to media control, news stories don’t always come quickly to the mainland. Sometimes, however, the opposite is true!

I read a story in the Telegraph this morning which reminded me of something I’d heard many times before…but I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly where, so I did about 5 minutes of research and put together this super-timeline…

Facebook ban!

It was a shock when terrorism hit China before the Olympics…

August 2008 – Beijing Olympics security fears as terror attack kills 16 Chinese policemen

“The seemingly well-coordinated assault […] appears to be China’s most serious act of political terror in more than a decade.”

“Ten days ago, a Muslim group which said it was fighting for the liberation of the region posted a video to a security website threatening to make the “most critical points of the Olympics” a target.

Riots in Western China saw more than 100 killed…

July 2009 – China riots: 156 killed in Urumqi as riots spread to Kashgar, according to Xinhua

“Calm had settled over Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang province, after 20,000 police, troops and firefighters reclaimed the streets from rioters who burnt and smashed vehicles and shops, and clashed with security forces over Sunday night.”

The Telegraph’s coverage was, as usual, accurate and well-researched…

August 2009 – The battle to scale the Great Firewall of China

“[T]he Chinese government closed […] Facebook four weeks ago. This is because the government believes the rioters in Xinjiang province on July 5 used networking sites to communicate.”

As well as this golden nugget…

“When expats move to China, the issue of internet access is one of the first culture shocks. The first surprising thing is that internet cafés do not exist.”

Earlier this year released a whitepaper about its block of FB and similar sites…

June 2010 – China defends censoring web

“Anything considered subversive or threatening to “national unity”, China said, would however continue to be blocked.”

And now today’s breaking news…

December 2010 – Facebook emerges as ‘terrorist recruiting ground’

“The US government has warned that terrorist groups like al-Qaeda are targeting Facebook as a prime recruitment ground.”

It’s hard for progressive techophiles to argue the virtues of unblocking this type of website (or at least question the reasoning of the censorship) when Western governments underline the same fears…and more than a year later!


  1. the situation says:

    What happened in Xinjiang was more of an open riot than a secret terrorist ploy as al-Qaeda relies on.

    The Chinese were smart to block it as it made widespread dissent, communication and protest organization/rioting too easy for the commoners.

    The US on the other hand should take a page out of 24’s book and put people undercover to infiltrate the al-Qaeda ranks – doesn’t seem like they’re getting any closer to catching them using more conventional ways.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention It’s now official – Facebook is a terrorist hangout (perhaps) -- Topsy.com

  3. offering something light…am wondering if QQ will be blocked too as a massive number of people are using it and most of my western friends have turned to QQ too rather than MSN, which is “annoying” as I haven’t had a QQ and will continue to choose not to…;)

  4. another thing is that i was only able to check on my facebook (which I miss very much) when i was in Dubai this August…

  5. The Government always can find all kinds of reasons to block some good websites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *