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Facebook blocked in North Korea, Iran, Cuba and 'another country,' says

state media

Amy Li

If you have blocked Facebook, then at least have the guts to admit it.

Apparently this doesn't work for China's censors, who, of course, have

also said on numerous occasions that there is no internet censorship in

China.

This might explain why in a recent article published on a website run by

the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technolgoy, readers

are given an ambiguous, yet amusing account of the status of Facebook in

the country.

Here goes the lead:

"Myanmar recently unblocked the popular social networking site Facebook,

which means only four countries in the world still ban the website:

North Korea, Cuba, Iran and another country".

Another country? Since when did China refer to itself in that way?

Does it mean I am now obliged to fill in "'Another Country" in my

passport forms?

Why are state leaders so ashamed of the Great Fire Wall they

single-handedly built? Or do the censors really believe Chinese people

are too stupid to figure it out?

If so, netizens have already proved them wrong.

On China's social media on Thursday, the evasively-worded story

triggered fierce discussion.

"People in 'another country' are unfortunately being forced to tred

'another' path," wrote one. "Where no Facebook is allowed."

"Four-isn't it just the right number for a Majhong game," said another

blogger.

Other bloggers quickly pointed out that besides Facebook, other popular

websites including Twitter and Youtube remain inaccessible.

Myanmar's government unblocked some foreign websites, such as Facebook,

the BBC, and YouTube in 2011. China, or should we say "another country"

now, only unblocked popular movie website IMDB early this month, an

unexpected move which many considered a sign more changes were coming.

If the changes are really coming, let's hope they will be in the right

direction.

BIO

After graduating from the University of Missouri with a master's degree

in journalism, Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news

reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in

2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern

University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu and started an

environment blog, Green Bullet, before joining SCMP in Hong Kong. She is

now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at

chunxiao.li@scmp.com.

http://www.scmp.com/comment/blogs/article/1201748/facebook-blocked-north-korea-iran-cuba-and-another-country-says-state

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