My website has been banned in China. Apparently, it's subversive.
Oddly, Chinese citizens are allowed to read this blog. Apparently the government censors aren't worried that its title, No rules, will incite anarchy.
My website is mostly about my writing, although it includes a large section on how to write romance novels and another of preparing and serving afternoon tea. All pretty innocuous and wholly apolitical. So the Chinese censors have made a mistake. What they "should" have banned is this blog, because it's here that I occasionally stir things up. For example:
The most powerful country in the world not only grants its citizens the right, but actively encourages them to exchange ideas and information. It's a crying shame that the grumpy old men who run The People's Republic of China aren't bright enough to figure out that the primary reason behind the financial success and political might of The United States of America is the fact that it truly is a "people's republic," and has been from its beginning some 230 years ago.
Only very occasionally have I noticed people visiting this blog from China. But if anyone in China happens to read this post, I'd like to remind you that the world is still watching--you haven't been forgotten. And many of us are praying for you.
Want to see if your website has been banned or is viewable from China? Visit The Great Firewall of China and enter a URL; you'll get an immediate answer.
UPDATED 11:16 AM
Since posting this, I've begun to wonder whether authors' websites are being blocked as a matter of course.
This from the FAQ page of The Great Firewall of China:
It is estimated that some 30,000 Chinese civil servants are monitoring Internet traffic and blocking content that is deemed undesirable. Typing in sensitive keywords such as ‘democracy’, ‘Falun Gong’ or ‘porno’ in a search engine results in an error message. Websites of a sensitive nature are being blocked. Internet service providers also (self)censor, as do individuals: many people do not express their real thoughts because they know these will be censored anyway.
It's clear that by default, all URLs are accessible to Chinese citizens. "Undesirable" sites are being actively blocked, which means that a censor had to have noticed my website and added it to the list. Since I can't imagine how my site would have drawn their attention, I can only conclude that authors' websites are being blocked as a matter of course. (Everyone knows what a subversive lot we writers can be!) That would be easy to do, as the internet contains many directories of authors' websites. A censor could simply go down the lists and block every website. Under that theory, my blog wouldn't have been blocked because it does not appear in any of those directories.
If you're an author with a blog and/or a website, or if you have tested any authors' websites and blogs to see whether they're blocked, please report in the Comments.