It seems that the Great Firewall has potentially closed its walls around the beloved internet discussion site Reddit, SupChina reported yesterday (Sun 12).
With significantly fewer Chinese users than other sites (it's the fifth most visited website in the US and tenth in the world, according to Amazon's analytics site Alexa), Reddit has been available in China for years without needing a VPN. But visitors to the site have now found it blocked since last Friday (Aug 10). However, according to Quartz, some netizens are claiming to have VPN-free access back as of today, while others still don't, leaving many scratching their heads.
While Reddit has remained accessible for many years, despite some arguably censor-worthy material, this current block may be due to the roll out of a new chatroom feature.
With other chat platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp (sometimes) also blocked in China, it's possible that this is why the often politically incorrect, sometimes pornographic and very much say-whatever-you-want-about-absolutely-anything website now potentially finds itself beyond the Wall.
One potential factor Quartz touches upon for the seemingly patchy block, is whether it might well come down to geography, claiming its 'associates' in Hunan and Shanghai have been able to access the site today, while those in Shenzhen and Beijing could not. The article also cites Reddit posts from users in Hangzhou and Dongguan claiming to be able to get on also, with others in Nanjing posting about not being able to.
We have been unable to access Reddit from both Time Out's Shanghai and Beijing offices. So yeah, basically, looks like another WhatsApp scenario (for now, at least).
Reddit has definitely undergone periodic blockages throughout the years, but only for short periods of time. Will this be another temporary roadblock for Reddit users? Or has the Great Firewall fallen on the loveable alien like so many other social media and Western news websites? Only time will tell, we suppose.