AT&T a la China… But Worse.

About, oh, 1000x worse. Okay, so we’re used to China and their constant censorship of US darlings like Google Apps, Youtube, whatnot and what have you. By now, it’s actually alarming if one of our social media sites isn’t being censored by the Great Firewall (let’s call that the GFW from now on, a la the lovely Twitter hashtag #FuckGFW).

Apparently, AT&T has decided to block 4chan. 4chan. Let’s say that again – 4chan. Of all the sites they could have censored, 4chan? Really? Really? Did they not see what 4chan did with TIME’s 100 Most Influential People list? And TIME didn’t even do anything to them. AT&T’s got some real cajones if they’re willing to take on the wrath of 4chan, which of course, comes bundled with the army of anon. You just don’t mess with 4chan, unless you want your homepage to start displaying 2girls1cup or meatspin- and that’s only the start of it.

As per TechCrunch:

AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found. Blocking any site seems like a breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon. – Jason Kincaid

The troops have already begun rallying here and on Encyclopedia Dramatica. I don’t know about you, but I’m stocking up on my popcorn. Unless 4chan decides to blow up AT&T’s servers, in which I will be /wrist, because sadly, my service provider is AT&T.

From Encyclopaedia Dramatica:

This isn’t like going to war with Anontalk, or Scientology, or some website, it’s AT& fucking T. There will be no lulz in this war.
This time the internet IS serious business.

4chan God Help Us If They Ever Assemble

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Great Firewall of China 2.0

It never fails to amuse me when I check my comments and find foblish spam- the one asking me to join a prostitution site was a real gem.

Anyways, I was talking to my dear, esteemed friend Robert last night, and he bugged me about not updating my blog. “Why don’t you have an Asia 3.0 or North Korea lulz post yet, hmmmm?” Well, coincidentally enough, here you go!

China’s internet po po were at it again– apparently the majority of Google’s services were blocked in China, including Gmail, Gtalk, Google Apps, Google Books, Google Images, and of course,, too. It seems like this is the latest in a string of the blocking-happy measures, not including the mass blockage of pretty much all social media and search engines (like Bing) near the Tiananmen anniversary.

But really, Google? C’mon China, we all know no one should touch Google, since it’s going to take over the world and all in the near future. Okay, jokes aside, what does China really aim to achieve with all this Great Firewalling? I assume the main purpose is to keep all the Liberal Capitalist Rubbish (yes, capitalized and all) out of the minds and sight of young, revolutionary-able Chinese netizens, but history has taught us that the 300 million strong band of netizens will always find a way to either circumvent the GFW with the ease of VPNs, or at least manage to unleash frustration and “WTF?!”s onto various unblocked BBS. Or mass post to Twitter with the oh-so-affectionate #fuckgfw hashtags.

Additionally, the international media always makes a big fuss and throws a couple of a frowns in China’s direction when things like this happen. Granted, I know China’s sitting across the Pacific laughing at us fools in this recession, so our approval hardly has the same impact as in the past (not that I’m saying America- or any other country- should have a deciding say in anything that goes in with China in a flamboyantly cowboy diplomacy way; but that’s a discussions for some other time). Still, this is remarkably attention grabbing in a way that China probablyyy doesn’t want.

Some services have been unblocked, but the damage is still done. What next, China? I’m waiting for the day they block MSN/Windows Live services- that’s when all hell will break loose on the net.

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Asia 2.0

Well, to start off, I really fail at consistently blogging. So, in the midst of finals week and in between writing two consecutive final papers, I figure, hey what a perfect time to blog! </procrastinate>

I ran across this article the other day about how social networks, at least those born and raised on good ol’ American soil, need to adapt to Asian culture if they ever want to succeed in the Asian region. This is critical to the success of any social website that wants to succeed- and not only do they have to adopt local characteristics and tastes, but also compete against the already established local networks. When we were conducting interviews earlier this semester for UMA’s creative committee, this was actually the case question we asked the prospys. It seems that so many companies are ready to jump head first into China without considering the culture and end up getting owned in the face by local establishments. It’ll be interesting to see if the big names like Facebook will make changes that cater specifically to target areas in Asia.

And speaking of Asia Web 2.0, the Geeks on a Plane tour is now official. While a nine-day foray into the world of Asian internet startups and companies won’t be comprehensive at all, it’d still be a hell of a lot more informative than what we can only access on the intarwebz. I like the fact that they’re attending events that are hosted by companies started and based in Beijing/Shanghai/Tokyo, rather than companies abroad that have been Asianified. The events in Shanghai look especially attractive- the Barcamp Shanghai un-conference hosted by Tudou and a Geeks & Glamour after party at the shiny M1NT lounge? *dies*

And before I go, I’d like to throw a shout out to my homedizzle Robert, all the way out thurr in Las Vegas. :] Happy?

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