Since yesterday I am having problems accessing pictures on Flickr. I did not think too much about it, because internet connections in China are not always optimal. But when it still did not work this morning I suspected there might be a problem at Flickr. When I looked in my RSS reader I found that Shanghaiist wrote a post about it, saying that the Flickr image servers are blocked in China.
That explains why I can still load the site and all the information on it, except for its main feature: the pictures. On the Flickr forum users are all angry at the censors at the Great Fire Wall for blocking the images, and theories are spread about the reasons why (the June 4 anniversary, the student protests in Zhengzhou – apparently still censored in the Chinese press!).
However, I don’t really believe it. Why would the big Nanny decide to only block the image servers? Would it not be much easier to block the whole domain – like they normally do? In that case users cannot even discuss about it on the site, making the censorship much more effective. I think it’s just a mistake in the settings of the GFW, and it will take the censors a few days to discover their error and sort out the issue. I hope I am right – my whole life in pictures is on Flickr and even all the pictures on this blog are hosted there.