YouTube and Flickr: DENIED!

OK, I’ve gotten over this annoying message I see anytime I try to access a Google Video:

Google Video in China

I’ve gotten over it mainly because I don’t ever use Google Video. YouTube has everything. Today, for the first time, I got this:

Youtube - Denied in the PRC

(Text reads: This video is not available in your country.)

Thanks a lot for spreading this helpful practice to YouTube, Google. This is so annoying. Has anyone else in China gotten this? Fortunately I’ve only gotten it once, for this video.

While I’m on the subject, Flickr has been misbehaving a lot recently too.

Flickr - Denied in the PRC

Other people have also noticed it. The Access Flickr Firefox plugin doesn’t help, and the problem itself seems erratic. Any solutions?

P.S. I’m up to 12,000 characters in my thesis. 2,000 more to go for today…


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Heh. Now all of us on the mainland have to sit and wonder what’s so special about that video. (Fortunately, that image loads – the google rejection notice at top doesn’t work for me.)

  2. jon byrne Says: March 9, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    i just clicked the link for “this video” and guess what , it flags the same message for me and i live in the U.K. Now i’m sitting here wondering what it was that i have missed . I dont suppose you could tell me what it is so i can go on youtube and see it ,eh… Mr Pasden .

  3. I’m fed up with this dumb blocking all the time, too.
    The only solutions you have are a) move the hell away or b) invest insane amounts of money for that rip-off uncensored internet connection or, the best, c) install TOR. HTH.

  4. Hmm, the youtube video also won’t work for me. Same message. And I’m in Germany, not China.

  5. FYI, it’s not just China. I can’t view the Youtube video from Japan either. Flickr, on the other hand, hasn’t been as problematic (at least, not that I’ve noticed).

  6. That YouTube video is being blocked here in the Netherlands as well, so this does not seem to be restricted to China. Odd, I wonder what the video is about.

  7. I clicked your youtube link and got the same message. But I’m in France.

  8. zhwj,

    Hmmm, that’s weird… I can see all three of the Flickr images I used for this post. (I couldn’t see the “Car Tones” image that I used the other day, though. It also doesn’t show up in the Flickr screenshot I did for this post.)

    I don’t know the exact contents of the video (since I haven’t seen it). My sister sent me a link to a music video. She says it’s a “finger11 song.”

    I guess it’s a good thing that no one else can see it, though. That means it’s a non-USA thing as opposed to a China-only thing.

    Can others in the USA (or maybe Canada?) verify that you can see it?

  9. I’m in the US and we can get the video. Its a music video.

    Finger Eleven “Paralyzer” music video, from Them Vs. You Vs. Me, album available now

  10. Google bringing the Google Video suck to youtube? That’s awful. youtube-dl worked for me just now without a proxy…

  11. I think most of us in China are specifically having issues with pictures that are stored in flickr’s farm 4. You can test which farms are working for you here:

    For farm 4 I get all x’s.

    Several people in China have been bringing it up at this help thread:

  12. Re: that Youtube link, is that really a video link, or is that a link to the error message that says the video isn’t available in your country? It really doesn’t look like a standard Youtube link.

    Re: the Flickr farm4 server issue, the AccessFlickr plugin beta in the Mozilla sandbox now has farm4 support but you’ll need to register for a Mozilla account to get it. The creator, Hamed Saber, has instructions here:

  13. My bad, I see we’re being forwarded to that link, it’s not the link John posted.

    Incidentally, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of registering for a Mozilla account you could just wait a few weeks/months for Saber to release the new version of AccessFlickr.

  14. I live in Shijiazhuang and was having the same problems with flickr as you are. I just installed version 1.9 of the access flickr firefox plugin “matthew stinson” referred to, and everything works again

  15. I’m sorry that Chinese based surfers are having issues with the “Great Wall of China” … it was a tedious bummer to face: slow speeds, broken images, unable to display messages, and complete blocked access. Do the proxies not work any more?

  16. BTW, I had similar “not for your country” issues while in Vancouver, Canada. It was for a mainstream site regarding new music. The culprit was “licensing issues”.

  17. Music can be country-specific. Get back at them by creating a ton of China-specific content. Google are just jerks – they have a crappy offline player that you can download that will play the videos, but it’s hardly ever worth it.

  18. Just a thought but you could also try baidu and see if the video has been uploaded there. For me, it loads a lot faster and is less problematic from inside China.

  19. I can see in China using Witopia VPN ( $40/year personal VPN. Not an ad, just been a real life saver.

  20. I am in the US, and the video came up just fine when I clicked the link.

  21. been getting it a lot on flickr lately. its been driving me nuts. given the way access flickr works, its a little surprising.

  22. Hey, the flickr should be working now… It was a problem with the new Farm4, but at least on my flickr account it was resolved last week.

  23. Interesting – but even after installing a mozilla adons account and getting access flickr 1.9 (as per the instructions at ) I couldn’t access older flickr pictures in Shanghai.

    Yeah, I have to use Tor ( ) to get at them.

    As for google video, I’ve never been able to access it, and I’ve never had a problem with Youtube, except for it being really slow sometimes.

  24. king of men Says: March 11, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Google Video (US) has never been available overseas as far as I know. I think it’s just accessible in the continental US. Google Video Taiwan is inaccessible in the U. S., etc. Google shenanigans.

  25. The Access Flickr Firefox plugin doesn’t help, and the problem itself seems erratic. Any solutions?

  26. it’s so silly to block youtube….sighs.

  27. Vincent,

    Thanks for the links! That’s just what I needed… With the Access Flickr plugin installed a few days ago, only Farm 4 was inaccessible for me. Later I uninstalled it, and Farm3 and Farm 4 display fine, but Farm 1 and Farm 2 do not.

    Maybe if I just wait a while the Access Flickr plugin will be working properly again, but for now at least I can see all my newest photos just fine.

  28. Mark,


  29. Youtube video doesn’t work from Taiwan either. It is because some US music executive only wants the video to be shown in the US, is why they can access it and we cant. I say stick it to them. Somebody upload it on their account.

  30. Samething here in Brazil!

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