China blocks sites from its citizens. We know this. But, what do they block and to what extent? Sisi Wei for ProPublica tracked major news homepages with the help of transparency site GreatFire.org and archived the pages for the sampled days.
Each row represents a timeline for a homepage, and a color-coded tick is added for each day a homepage is checked. There are four categories: blocked, no censorship detected, inconclusive (meaning there’s mixed results from different testing servers), and no data.
For the most part it looks like there isn’t a ton of switches between no censorship and blocked. There’s some between inconclusive and blocked, but that might just be a server thing. Hard to say. However, the Wall Street Journal looks like it was blocked around the anniversary of Tiananmen Square, with a mostly green to mostly red transition. And of course, for reference, Facebook and Twitter is a bunch of red.
One interesting bit, and I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, but there are some green slivers that appear after December 17, the day the project went up.