Unintended Consequences Of Google Reader Shutdown: Losing Key Tool To Get Around Censored Internet In Iran & China

from the that's-unfortunate dept

Last night, after posting the story about Google Reader being shut down, I received an email from someone in China, telling me that it was an even bigger deal for him, because “even with a VPN it can be very difficult to access outside news sites,” but that the Great Firewall doesn’t block Google Reader — so that’s his one way of reading outside news. And today, European MEP Marietje Schaake tweeted nearly the same thing about Iran. Apparently, neither country blocks Google Reader, and thus people in both countries rely on it as a tool to get around censorship. Of course, Google need not keep Reader running just for that reason, but it does highlight just how important Google Reader is to some people. And, yes, there are other RSS readers out there, but as people are quickly discovering, they tend to be much more limited (and, one imagines, more likely to be blocked in those countries).

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Comments on “Unintended Consequences Of Google Reader Shutdown: Losing Key Tool To Get Around Censored Internet In Iran & China”

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Brent (profile) says:

I don’t have this problem but i find all of the extra stuff on the actual websites i read regularly via Reader to be cumbersome. I like getting the articles in chronological order instead of ‘whats hot’ or whatever BS that replaces some websites posting timeline. TechDirt is very similar looking to Google Reader so i don’t mind this site as much but just the fact that my 30 other subscriptions on Reader are all right there, i usually read this site thru Reader and visit to comment.

Anonymous Coward says:

usual situation really. dont give a flyin’ fuck about those that use a service, just drop it. the collateral damage doesn’t matter, even if it means losing data and/or customers. Microsuck are doing the same thing with hotmail to outlook and live messenger to skype. none of the customers asked for the changes but have had to follow or lose everything. i just moved everything and shut down what was a convenient system that i had used for many years.

WysiWyg (profile) says:


“[…] (and, one imagines, more likely to be blocked in those countries).”

Actually I’d say that they are LESS likely to be blocked. Google (Reader) is a HUGE target. If people using Google Reader start using different replacements, the result would be a big number of alternatives, which would be harder to keep up with for the censorship-happy morons.

yea RSS cant be blocked says:


This hit the nail on the head, even in the US. I have had news articles show up in my news reader, that couldn’t be seen on their web site,this has happened many times with different things related to the US Government. People not using RSS never even saw the articles posted on the news site.
Censorship is the goal here PEOPLE WAKE UP. These thing are happening in the UNITES STATES not just China.Facebook Censors.youtube censors, and many web sites are being filtered some how,but they can’t filter RSS. THe option to use RSS on facebook pages other than your own seems to have vanished, You can use SMS for them but RSS appears to be gone

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