PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 12:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 March, 2013, 4:02pm

Facebook blocked in North Korea, Iran, Cuba and 'another country,' says state media


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

If you have blocked Facebook, then at least have the guts to admit it.

Apparently this doesn’t work for China’s censors, who, of course, have also said on numerous occasions that there is no internet censorship in China.

This might explain why in a recent article published on a website run by the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technolgoy, readers are given an ambiguous, yet amusing account of the status of Facebook in the country.

Here goes the lead:

"Myanmar recently unblocked the popular social networking site Facebook, which means only four countries in the world still ban the website: North Korea, Cuba, Iran and another country".

Another country? Since when did China refer to itself in that way?

Does it mean  I am now obliged to fill in “‘Another Country” in my passport forms?

Why are state leaders so ashamed of the Great Fire Wall they single-handedly built? Or do the censors really believe Chinese people are too stupid to figure it out?

If so, netizens have already proved them wrong.

On China’s social media on Thursday, the evasively-worded story triggered fierce discussion.

“People in 'another country' are unfortunately being forced to tred 'another' path,” wrote one. "Where no Facebook is allowed."

“Four-isn't it just the right number for a Majhong game,” said another blogger.

Other bloggers quickly pointed out that besides Facebook, other popular websites including Twitter and Youtube remain inaccessible.  

Myanmar's government unblocked some foreign websites, such as Facebook, the BBC, and YouTube in 2011. China, or should we say “another country” now, only unblocked popular movie website IMDB early this month, an unexpected move which many considered a sign more changes were coming.

If the changes are really coming, let's hope they will be in the right direction.