I found out, during our trip to China earlier this year, that many websites were blocked there, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and WordPress. Alternative Chinese sites were sometimes available. The government blocks western social media sites presumably because it fears social media that it can’t control.
Talking to some UK National Health Service (NHS) information people the other I learnt that the same sites are blocked from their work networks. This is presumably so that they don’t waste time whilst at work, though on the same principle many books and other printed material should surely be banned as well, as it is equally possible to waste time reading non work related stuff.
I can understand, to some extent, Facebook being blocked. So much interesting, useful and possibly work related material can appear on Twitter that blocking it is more difficult to understand. Why on earth WordPress and other blogging sites should be blocked is very hard to understand, and puts such people at a disadvantage. Some scholarly journals are now being published on WordPress, and there’s a lot of serious, quality and informative material that appears on WordPress blogs. When I searched Google for “wordpress university library blog” there were 233 million hits. Not all will be WordPress blogs, of course.
The NHS people I spoke to were not entirely sure what other sites were blocked at their work, but were aware that many sites that many of us take for granted were simply not available to them.
The new Nature Publishing Group blogging network for scientists, called SciLogs, is a WordPress-based site. It would be ludicrous if this site is blocked.
Presumably, blocking of some websites happens in lots of work places. I’ve just read that More than half of UK business leaders ban Facebook & Twitter in the workplace.