The Google Chain Letter

The question here is: "Are you 'somebody' in China?"

If you have received the Google-related chain letter, then you are 'somebody.'  Conversely, if you have not received it, you are 'nobody.'  [Disclosure: I am a 'nobody,' except I don't feel bad about this at all.]

Here is the chain letter that has been appearing in email boxes of the 'somebodies' all over China (see, for example,



googLe,用我们中国人自己的搜索引擎-百度!!! 把googLe赶出中国!

我自己刚验证确实不能搜索南京大屠杀,并且导致一段时间内无法登陆\现在已有很多人试过了,确实不能,可见险恶用心,所以大家应该统一起来共同抵抗GOOGLE,大家都不要用了,反对他,相信你是一个有良知,有血性的中国人,为中国人争口气吧,发到你所有在线的朋友,让他们在发,发到你所有的群中,让在线的在发,各种论谈也可以加贴,为了让各多人知道,请大家发一下吧,不相信你可以试下,真实有效,是中国人就发吧,没有人说你,为了国家请复制吧!!! 声明:不信,你自己试试

[in translation]

Will everybody please go to the GOOGLE  homepage and search for "Nanjing Massacre" and "Diaoyutai Islands"!?  Then please check out the search results.  The results will always be the "This page cannot be displayed" notice and you will also be informed that you cannot use GOOGLE to search for a brief period hereafter.

But if you search for "Senkaku Islands" (which is how the Japanese ghouls call China's Diaoyutao Islands, you can get results (I recommend that you search 'Senkaku Islands' first before you search for "Nanjing Massacre' because if you searched 'Nanjing massacre' first, you will be prevented from searching for anything thereafter).

This is an obvious display of contempt against the People's Republic of China and the men and women of China.

The ugly American ghouls are attempting to block information about China on the Internet!  Their intention is extremely dangerous and evil!

Will everybody please attempt to experience this personally.  If I am correct, then will you please relay this message so that all the Chinese people will know!  We must resolutely boycott GOOGLE and use the search engine for the Chinese people: BAIDU!  Let us use GOOGLE out of China!

I have just attempted to test this on and I really could not search for the Nanjing massacre and I was unable to go there again for a brief period of time afterwards.  Many other people have tried it and they could not do so either.  This shows that GOOGLE is dangerous and evil.  Therefore, we must all unite to resist GOOGLE.  We must not use it and we must reject it.  I believe that you are a Chinese person with conscience and integrity, so please do something for the Chinese.  Please send this message to all your friends and let them know.  Please sent this message to all the online groups that you belong to.  Please post this at various forums to let more people know.  Please distribute this to everybody.  If you don't believe it, you can try it yourself.  It is all true.  If you are a Chinese, please forward this.  No one will criticize you.  Please do this for the nation!!!  I declare again: if you don't believe this, please try it yourself.

Here is the problem.  This chain letter is going around, which means that some people are willing to forward it.  We can speculate whether they actually believe it, or they think that this is hilarious, or they want to annoy other people.

Here are the facts (as I understand it):

  1. If you search for a sensitive term at from inside China, you will nevertheless get the same listing of search results as anyone outside China.
  2. The list of search results from will not be the same as that from Baidu, which will not be the same as that from, which will not be the same as that from Yahoo.  This is because different search engines have different spiders, algorithms and ranking schemes.  Showing a different list than other search engines is not necessarily evidence of malfeasance and evil.
  3. If you click on a search result for a sensitive term at from inside China, you may not be able to reach the website.  This is not because is blocking access (if they did, they would not be showing the search result in the first place).  This is because the Great Internet Firewall of the Chinese government is blocking access to that site. is willing to direct you to the website, but the Chinese government does not want you to have access.  We can debate whether the Chinese government is right, but the point here is that this has nothing to do with the evil nature of the American ghouls.
  4. After you click on a search result that is blocked in China, you can still go back to and continue your search.  If you were not allowed to access again, then it is the Great Internet Firewall (or your Internet Service Provider) who is preventing you from doing that.
  5. is essentially a local service that spares the users from having to click on search results leading to banned websites.  Of course, some power users can use special proxy services or software to access those banned websites in the results.
  6. Conversely, if you search for a sensitive term (such as 'Tiananmen massacre') in Baidu ("the search engine for the Chinese people"), you will receive an error message and you will be prevented from reaching Baidu for a brief period of time afterwards.  Therefore, the scenario in the chain is applicable to Baidu instead of Google.
  7. However, if you search for anything in Baidu, you will be able to reach almost all of the listed results because Baidu is compliant with the Great Internet Firewall.

Still, let me offer this question: Was the intention of the original author 'dangerous and evil'?  Or was it sheer ignorance?  Discuss among yourselves ...

Relevant Link”I am not interested in politics; I am only interested in making money”  Frank Dai, Global Voices Online