Friday, June 24, 2016

China's censorship order to Github caused Streisand effect

Recently, the Chinese gov sent a censorship order to Github demanding the removal of political content. Github complied and restricted the access from China. However, Github also posted the censorship request publicly, making it one of the few publicly available censorship order towards foreign companies.

The content in question was posted on March 9, 2016 and received little attention and no replies. However, after the removal order and the content being restricted from China, the content received 166 comments, some of which visited the content because of international exposure. The content is even translated into English.

Even though the content cannot be accessed in China, copies of the content is already made on other repo's (copy 1, copy 2, copy 3). Those copies are still accessible in China. Interestingly, those copies are hosted on repo that were DDOSed by Great Cannon last year. It remains to be seen whether China will send take down request to Github, DDOS Github, block Github or do nothing to prevent further Streisand effect.

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