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Did China’s Internet Censors Forward Me to a Transsexual Porn Site?

It appears as if I may have been the recipient of a joke on behalf of China’s internet censors.

Yesterday I tried to load up Youtube as I do almost every day here in China. Business as usually. I jumped over to a couple of other tabs while the site loaded but when I returned what was on the screen didn’t appear to be the site I requested. Though my browser address said www.youtube.com and the tab icon was that of Youtube, what was on the screen wasn’t offering me my usually assortment of lame ass self-improvement videos and obscure documentaries but “the new era of transsexual porn” from a site called Trans500.com.

Screenshot 2015-03-19 11.45.29

Definitely not Youtube.

Wondering how this had happened I checked my VPN (the program that allows me to bypass China’s firewall). I’d been bumped off and wasn’t connected, meaning I was at the whims of China’s army of internet monitors. Sometimes they do a little more than block sites:

“According to Greatfire, Chinese users attempting to access banned sites have been redirected to foreign porn sites, random sites in Russia, and to a site owned by the South Korean government.”

I had to crack a smile at the thought of a couple of young Chinese guys sitting in some internet censorship dungeon giggling to themselves about how they’re redirecting users who want to use a banned video sharing site to — OMG! — a transvestite porn site.

Apparently, censors are human too.

Filed under: China, Internet

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3563 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • 2313265939 April 22, 2015, 9:36 am

    Oh and I wanted to add that even if you use a VPN the DNS client still goes through normal connections.

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