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China's three year ban on IMDB is over...for now

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I think many of us in the United States take for granted the freedoms we are allowed as citizens. Sometimes it just takes a relatable news story to make you fully appreciate the liberties that come with living in America.

Some of you may not know this but China has had a three year block on the movie database website imdb.com. The block was due to the site having information about the documentary WHEN THE DRAGON SWALLOWED THE SUN, which is about Beijing's treatment of Tibet and the Dalai Lama in 1950. Although the site has been blocked for three years the Chinese government has never made any public comments regarding the ban.

Chinese citizens this week took to the internet to celebrate the lifted ban, with some commenting that they were able to search for film entries that are still currently banned by the country's film regulators like Lou Ye's SUMMER PALACE. That film contained scenes showing pro-democracy students protesting in Beijing and Chinese officials ended up banning Lou Ye from making films for five years.

While the lifted ban is obviously good news, many have been quick to point out that it may not last. There have been conflicting views presented by Chinese authorities the past year regarding censorship, part of it due to the change in leadership of Chinese officials. In December a Chinese television channel was allowed to broadcast V FOR VENDETTA, yet a propaganda official made an editor of a popular progressive newspaper take down a pro-reform article just last week. Although it wasn't censored by the government, we also brought you the recent story that the film 21 AND OVER was going to be much different in China due to it being re-edited by it's foreign investors.

I've never been a flag-waving, "USA! USA!" chanting citizen of America but I am very glad that something as simple as looking up a movie on imdb.com is allowed in this country. Could you imagine if the United States or Canada blocked sites that had information about movies that were critical of the government and its leaders? What if JoBlo had been blocked because it had news regarding FAHRENHEIT 9/11 or 2016: OBAMA'S AMERICA? You can read the full article on the lifted ban here.

So the next time you click on a site to research a movie or post a comment about how horrible conservatives or liberals are, be thankful you have the right to express and share your opinions because not everyone in the world has that freedom.

Extra Tidbit: Do think the ban has been permanently lifted or China will come down on the site again soon?

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