China's edgiest blogging platform, Bullog.cn, was shut down this afternoon.
Authorities launched an anti-Internet smut crackdown on Monday. Bullog was not among the websites cited for failure to control "low and vulgar" content.
A line about today's shutdown has already been posted on the Chinese Wikipedia entry for Bullog :
Translation: "On the afternoon of January 9th, the domestic server for the Bullog network was shut down, and Bullog international was also inaccessible. Some people believe this shut down of Bullog may have to do with the recent major Internet rectification, signaling that China's political climate has turned to the left." (Here's the correct edit history page in case it gets removed.)
On a Bullog fan page in the social networking site Douban, people have been buzzing with outrage and annoyance.
Bullog has been the favorite home for China's edgiest public intellectuals and counter-culture types - as you can see from the links on Bullog's still-visible Google cache page. I follow a lot of Bullog bloggers in my own aggregator. For a good introduction to Bullog and its founder Luo Yonghao, read this Blog Herald story. As writer Wang Xiao put it:
"Not everyone in China knows Bullog, but anyone who knows Bullog clicks it everyday. When I first time clicked the site half a year ago, I said: “Wow! I can get access to almost every China’s famous blogger’s posts. With only one website!” Since the first time I opened it, I fell in love with this site."From the Global Voices archives, see John Kennedy's coverage of Bullog's 2006 ballsy launch. John translated a lot of material from Bullog bloggers since then. For a sampling click here, here, here, here, and here. I am also reminded that Bullog endured a one-month shutdown back in 2007, launched an international site in the meantime, then came back domestically. Will "Fatty Luo," as his fans call him, manage another Bullog comeback?
Many foreign journalists I've talked to about Chinese blogs over the past few months don't appear to know about Bullog. Thanks to this crackdown, the international fame of this edgy network of bloggers and its charismatic founder is going to grow.