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Update: the images in posts hosted at i.stack.imgur.com are again not viewable. I suspect that they did it to punish me for this post.


i.stack.imgur.com, as well as imgur.com, had been blocked for years in Mainland China, causing the images embedded in posts not viewable. Earlier this morning (UTC+8), I made a complaint about that in a comment. Maybe 3 or 4 hours later, I found i.stack.imgur.com had been unblocked, despite imgur.com still being banned.

Given that my post is not about politics in China, is someone working for CCP or their GFW closely monitoring this site (politics is a very sensitive topic in the country) and my account? Probably my post becoming hot network-wide has also attracted unwanted attention.

I am glad that I have unknowingly initiated a tiny improvement towards free speech for the people living in the country, but I start feeling more and more uncomfortable and concerned about personal safety.

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    Feels like a coincidence to me. I have seen literally dozens of previous complaints on Stack Exchange over the years about Imgur being blocked in China. Even if the Chinese government is monitoring the site, I find it extremely improbable that your comment was what made them decide to unblock Imgur.
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 17, 2023 at 9:54
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    -1. You are not important enough to be tracked to that detail by any government. It's not personal, China just blocks Imgur a whole lot.
    – Nij
    Nov 18, 2023 at 6:55
  • @Nij looks like you can speak for CCP
    – Tim
    Nov 18, 2023 at 7:02
  • Eh, you're the one claiming they see you as important enough to individually and specifically track. I'm saying that's an unreasonable belief to hold in the absence of actual evidence.
    – Nij
    Nov 18, 2023 at 7:13
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    @Nij That's not quite what OP is saying. What they're saying is that the CCP is tracking the site as a whole, happened across their individual posts, and deemed them important enough to unblock (and then re-block) Imgur in response. The first part (the CCP monitoring Stack Exchange) is reasonable, but the rest, not so much.
    – F1Krazy
    Nov 18, 2023 at 10:29

1 Answer 1

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We honestly can't answer this question. If a government wants to spy on its citizens, they can and we may never know. If you are concerned that you may face harassment or threat to your life due to what you post online, please take the necessary precautions online. A guide to digital security for reporters in Asia and Digital Safety Kit has some tips you may find useful.

More importantly, become knowledgeable about the laws on speech and expression in your country to figure out how much you can bend it without drawing the attention of the authorities to you.

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