It seems that China has been blocking access to the children’s programming language Scratch for several weeks. This is evident from data from the digital civil rights movement GreatFire, which maps internet censorship in China.
TechCrunch message about the banning of Scratch by the Chinese government, whereby the website is based, among other things, on Greatfire; that website reports that the url scratch.mit.edu is completely blocked in China. In addition, a user already made three weeks ago on the Scratch forum notification of the blockade in China. The team behind Scratch was not yet available for a response, according to TechCrunch.
The blockade in China may be related to the content that can be found in the many Scratch projects. At least, a news site affiliated with the Chinese state states that Scratch projects have a lot of content that offends China. Rumors would also be spread on the platform, China would be discredited and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan would be included in the country list. According to the website, Scratch is the most widely used software in programming courses for children.
According to the own statistics Scratch has more than 3 million registered users in China, which is 5.65 percent of the global total. By way of comparison: in the US this is 40.63 percent, in the Netherlands 0.91 percent and in Belgium 0.47 percent. However, the actual percentage in China is much higher, according to TechCrunch, because developers use all kinds of derivative versions of Scratch.
By opensourceprogrammeertaal Scratch is a visual language created by the Lifelong Kindergarten group from MIT. For example, children can make interactive stories using this language. Scratch works with sprites instead of text.