Banned in China!

Update: See the comments for more details and links to learn about the Great Firewall of China and how to test your site.

Update 2: We are no longer banned!

I started tracking stats on Google Analytics about a year ago. Since that time, over 36,000 people have visited the site (thanks!). Of that 36,000, only one person was in China. One! I think I can safely say we’ve been banned, locked out of the Great Firewall of China. I wonder if it’s the words “covert organization” or “free speech” that is keeping us out. I must say, I am pretty proud that we’re the first result when Googling “covert organization” – with or without the quotes. Great success!

Full Disclosure: There are about 21 countries on Google’s global map for which we have zero visits (versus 170 countries that have stopped by). But I’m pretty sure none of those 21 have 1.3 billion people.

5 thoughts on “Banned in China!”

  1. You can say that about lots of the 170 countries that visited. Even if it’s a tiny percentage, when you multiply it by the population you get a reasonable number. 1% is 13M, more than the population of some countries. Random fact: the population of Greenland is less than the population of our home town, and it’s 88% Inuit and the rest are mostly Danish. So I don’t wonder why nobody from there has visited TCT.

    But if I’m being painfully honest, many of our referrals come from image search engines, including those in other countries. A good number of viewers don’t read us for the articles, so language is not an issue. And *somebody* in China should be looking for pics of Yvonne Strahovski.

  2. I don’t have this list of 170 other countries your talking about, but many other countries AT LEAST use letters from our alphabet. So english as a second or third language is reasonable. If I remember correctly China has two main Alphabet’s/dialects plus other dialects from nearby nations with similar styles and backgrounds.
    I would think way less than 1% speaks english.
    If I were to put the shoe on the other foot and learn Chinese…. no, my first thought would not be to look up Yvonne Strahovski in a strange language when I have my OWN.
    So then you mentioned image search. Yvonne Strahovski? Do we have a gallery somewhere I’m unaware of? Why would this site come up?
    I guess I just don’t understand how these things work. So to settle it, I’m taking a flight to China and seeing if I can connect to this site from there. Maybe while I’m there, I’ll hop on over to Japan. I need to see if the chicks from “Tokyo Topless” .com are a truly a good representation of their culture.

  3. I checked and you’re right, it is less than 1%. It’s .77% (, with 300M people learning English.

    I wrote it somewhat tongue in cheek, so I guess I should have put in smiley faces. I’m always amazed anyone else visits this site, I just think it’s cool. I didn’t do much research, other than reading this article ( about censorship in China. It’s a few years old so I suggest checking out the Wikipedia article:

    But you’re calling me out! So I looked for a way to actually test this site, and it does indeed seem blocked after running a test here:

    It passed when testing from Hong Kong, but tests from mainland China (Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou) failed. China is a lot more lax when governing HK, since it’s such an economic success story. And it has Jackie Chan and John Woo.

    However, checking the web server logs, I did see a few hits from China almost every month last year. The numbers were consistent, so maybe that was the censors or a monitoring program they use. The important thing is, don’t let me stop you from traveling to China and doing a field test! Your other tests sound good, but make sure you get photographic evidence.

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