Flickr really blocked? I don't believe it

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.

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  1. yes, it’s ture… and i can only access all the photos by corporate VPN tunnel which links to HK. Pity…

  2. don’t worry, all your 4,500 pictures are still ther 🙂

  3. here comes the solution, you can visit , the authur provides an add-on to firefox user and it can by-pass the censorship to flicker, it works perfect for me.

  4. @Jerry: thanks for this solution, this works perfect. Spread the word!

  5. I just installed the FFox add-on on my MacOSX machine, but didn’t work (after restart, etc)

  6. @sc2: I installed the firefox add-on both on my MacBookPro and on a Sony Vaio, in both OS it worked fine. I only had to restart FF in order for it to display the Flickr pictures again.

  7. Marc, redid all a second time and it is now working! Thanks!

  8. Hi Marc,
    you were right. Just now, the Net Nanny found out and blocked the whole FLICKR website. I am really upset. I have no idea how to use the solution you recommended but will ask Carlo when he’s back from Germany.

  9. A few days ago I complained to my landlord about heavy stinch in the kitchen. His approach-solution to the problem was simple:”You do not keep kitchen window open enough.” The situation with internet in China is so similar… we only have to rely to “windows-openers” like (moreover, if you enter your email address in a form there, you will get a notice of each newly established proxy every week or so. I tried the FF plugin, but does not work 20% as well as the sites I am describing here.) Most of them, after some year and half of using n China, work fine.
    However, it comes as no surprise to me that the most of sites blocked nowadays are not the ones with political content, but the ones that do similar things like webs run by chinese comanies. If anyone think this is a coincidence, he/she seriously underestimates business strategies of chinese companies, and chinese government… well, you will see in 10-20 years time from now.