Since 3 June 2009, while Twitter been blocked in China, its number of users has grown from twenty thousand to more than forty thousand and its focus point has changed from Linux and Technology to hot political issues and human rights actives.
Seems like the Great Fire Wall (GFW) isn’t doing its job that well as by blocking Twitter, instead the number of Twitter users is increasing and the discussion is changing to lean to more sensitive issues. Just last month Chinese Twitters made #GFW the first tag on the trend list by re-tweeting it together. That action makes a lot of people start to become aware of the Internet Censorship in China, by asking ‘What is ‘GFW’ and is Twitter being blocked in China?’, ‘How can there still be Chinese Twitter users?’
Twitter is probably the biggest problem and challenge that the GFW ever faced. After the URL and DNS to its official site got blocked and DNS poisoning on 3 June 2009, Chinese Twitter usage increased through existing users spreading the word about third party Twitter sites through applications such as email, MSN, and even QQ which has got over a hundred million users in China. To block the action by China’s GFW, almost 90% of old Twitter users got back online and along with them they brought a lot of new users.
2 months after the first instance, GFW in addition blocked a lot of third party sites including the most famous itweet.net and Open Source site dabr.co.uk. As an almost immediate reaction, Chinese Twitter users discovered more than 10 other unblocked third party sites and built hundreds of Twitter sites within and without the GFW by using the Open Source code from Dabr and Twitter APIs.
In China, Twitter has become the most free and sensitive place in the Chinese world as Chinese Twitter users are providing endless third party Twitter API proxies for themselves to make Twitter the most hard to block social media.
As a result, you can now see firsthand accounts on the World of Twitter of very sensitive news as well as reports on human rights movements in China. You can also access the stories of really personal lives of over forty thousand high social status Chinese citizens including but not limited to human rights activists; open minded students from universities and middle schools; conscientious business men; easy going celebrities and out of the closet gay groups as well as Chinese governors and their relatives.
This has all been made possible by Twitter’s open API and decentralisation policy making it an impossible mission for GFW to track and block all access to it, something which Jack Dorsey the founder could never have predicted.