As most of you are probably aware (and no doubt utilizing one or more), there are hit counters that can be added to your blog, website etc. that keep tabs on the number of visitors to your site. Some are more feature-rich than others, but most will track how many people have spent time on your blog and usually from whence they came. That's one of the the more enjoyable aspects of blogging: knowing that others are out there sharing their own personal stories, opinions, rants etc. from every corner of this world and that in spite of our differences, we are all connected in some small way, albeit via the wonderful, worldwide web.
The information from these statistic and hit counters isn't always accurate (for various reasons) but you can usually tell from which country a reader is from, so it was with great interest that I noticed some very strange occurrences that began with my post "Chinese shoot Tibetans crossing border" (10/24/06). I would occasionally get hits from China (as many as I would from other foreign countries), but those hits increased, somewhat, after that post. I found it odd, but dismissed the whole strangeness until I published my next post "Chinese court sentences dissident" (10/25/06) when the hits from China increased considerably. Since then, I have observed that the hits from China increase and decrease substantially, dependent upon the content of the post. I hadn't written anything critical about China or communism until recently and now, every time I post something, I am bombarded with hits from China. I would estimate 60% or more of all my hits are from there. I had 17, in a half hour period, a few days ago. I can guarantee that the percentage will increase after I publish this post today.
I'm not quite sure what is going on, but I'm going to assume that I've been placed on some kind of Chinese government watch list, or am being tracked by some kind of Internet bot that searches for any anti-Chinese government rhetoric. I'm sure if I was in China I'd be subject to the same fate as the dissident in my above mentioned post. This is why I am so grateful to be living in a democratic society where we can post what we want about our government, both positive and negative, without fear of repercussions or, in some cases, fear for our lives.
I have no quibbles with the Chinese people (one of my best friends is Chinese/American) and I love their food, but any government that is afraid of mere words, attempts to censor and punishes those who are critical of the system deserves to be criticised. I have said this many times before, but if that form of government is so wonderful why are they so afraid of a little censure, surely there shouldn't be any, if it's so great!
So, to all the readers from China who are tracking my site: Greetings from the free world. I wish for your country: freedom and democracy!