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Fánghuǒ Chángchéng 防火长城 (GFW)

“No wall scaling allowed!! Violators will have their penis nipped!!” (Artist: Dongganchengyu 动感成鱼)

The nickname Chinese netizens have given to the Chinese government's system for blocking certain online content from view in mainland China, often abbreviated GFW. A firewall is any mechanism which controls Internet traffic. Like its namesake, the Great Wall, the Great Firewall was built to keep unwanted foreign influences out of China. The result is a balkanized Internet within China, known as the Chinternet or Great Chinese LAN.

Chinese netizens who wish to access blocked content can attempt to scale the wall, using software to mask their IP addresses and thus circumvent the censorship. However, authorities continue to adjust and upgrade the Great Firewall, which results in a game of cat-and-mouse between censors and netizens.


Ermeiyaoxiaodao (@二枚腰小道): GFW (Great Firewall of China) has blocked all Google services, including Google Scholar, which is essential to research. If you think this is unacceptable, we request that you forward this page on Weibo and Wechat. In early 2013, after GFW blocked Github (a code-sharing site), a large number of programmers protested on Weibo as well as at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. As a result, GFW was forced to unblock Github. No struggle, no freedom! Please forward this page to pressure GFW! (June 13, 2014)

GFW(中国国家防火长城)屏蔽了所有谷歌(Google)的服务,包括对科研至关重要的Google学术。如果你认为这是不可接受的,请将本页面转发到微博,微信。 在2013年初,GFW封锁了Github(代码分享网站)后,大量程序员在微博和工信部投诉,最后GFW被迫解封。没有抗争就没有自由!请大家转发此页面给GFW施压![Chinese]

The “Father of the Great Firewall,” Fang Binxing, is one of China’s most reviled Internet personalities. Fang openly admitted to using six virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass the censorship apparatus that he himself engineered.

In 2009, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, KulturProjekte Berlin set up a virtual “Berlin Twitter Wall” where individuals could post their thoughts on the occasion through use of a Twitter hashtag #FOTW. The site’s introduction further invites participants to “let us know which walls still have to come down to make our world a better place!” Chinese netizens have made their voices heard on this last point, and Chinese comments bashing the Great Firewall and Internet censorship now dominate the site. Selections of these comments are translated by CDT below:

@specialword #fotw Is “fishing” [trapping its own people in jail by using false evidence] considered a way of enforcing law in a modern society? [reflecting recent news in Shanghai]

The Berlin wall has fallen, and so will the Great Firewall.

@VcinVoice #fotw I always thought the promotion of science and education from the state was based on some real sincere wish for the people; now it seems that nothing, including the future of our own people, can get in the way of the so-called political stability.

@sddzyubo #fotw Nothing can stop one’s quest for freedom.

@miaofeng #fotw We climb the Great Firewall because it has blocked out all of the dissent, and we do so to eventually get rid of the Wall.

@liujiang The wall built for others will eventually become a grave for the builders. #fotw

@gengmao #fotw It has been twenty years, and we are still in the Wall.

@nathanyangf RT @scavin: RT @dupola: RT: @wangpei: #fotw “On the day the Great Firewall falls, please do not forget to tell me when you visit my grave.”

[Paraphrasing Chinese poet of the southern Song dynasty, Lu You‘s famous patriotic line: “On the day the lost land is taken back, please do not forget to tell me when you visit my grave.”]

@smellbear Not only do the builders of the Great Firewall restrain the people who love peace and freedom, but they also imprison themselves—so they will never have peace. #fotw[1]

See also Chinternet, great wall, and Great Chinese LAN.

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