Monday, May 19, 2014

Censorship, from the perspective of Eyes Not Sold

Lying in bed last night resting and comfortably, but with sleep not coming, not unusual at times, eyes closed my mind wandered into thinking about the extent to which this inconsistent blog is subject to censorship.  Its been a curiosity here for some time, but this morning I looked at some stats related to Russia.  Blogspot began providing greater functionality three to four years ago to allow locational tracking of pageviews, among other things.

Since that onset of greater functionality, Russia in the aggregate had represented 20% of all non-U.S. pageviews and was the largest foreign country viewer.  Fyi, non-U.S. pageviews overall  represented 16% of total pageviews.  Over the last nine months there had been a significant lessening of Russian looks at ENS and it is, one could think, no coincidence.  In fact, this past month Russian pageviews were 6, an immaterial amount, and last week 2.  Russia may be clamping down on all U.S. blogs, or they could actually be looking at content.  If the latter is the case, the commentary on Pussy Riot here as well as some critical as well mocking remarks about Putin from time to time would have not been well received.

China was the second big interest.  The problem is that it is unclear whether China in the blogspot definition includes Hong Kong.  Based on the stats, it probably does.  I checked Baidu, the major search engine in mainland China, for listings of John Borden, which brings up ENS rather quickly on most U.S. search engines.  On Baidu it brought up a State Farm agent in Dover, Delaware, multiple mentions of a John Borden who wrote a book called "American Money" in the late 1800's that appears to be some treatise on the currency, a John Borden who wrote some commentary or a book on the romantically challenged male who stays in his marriage, and dozens of mentions of Lizzie Borden, or Lizzy Borden.  No ENS.

As to the pageviews here, China represents almost 5% of  non-U.S. pageviews since the tracking began,  and has continued to have some reasonable flow, which suggests that Hong Kong is part of the puzzle.   Mainland is presumably protected from these subversive thoughts.

Of course, this seemed interesting here, as a small piece of evidence of censorship in action.


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