Drawn from personal observation, Medium (medium.com) is probably not as popular in Malaysia when compared to other more established blog publishing platforms like Blogger and WordPress. For this reason, let’s start with a short introduction on Medium. Started in 2012, it offers similar features like other platforms where you could register to publish blog posts. What makes Medium stands out is its unique user experience - you can follow an user or an organisation, comment on specific section of a paragraph and bookmark articles. Not to mention the clean design makes reading a pleasure and there are a lot of good content available, e.g.
- Let’s Not Let Fear Defeat Our Values - Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google Inc.)
- 300 Awesome Free Things For Entrepreneur & Startups - Ali Messe
- The 37 Best Websites To Learn Something New - Kristyna Z.
Medium Is Blocked in Malaysia
Since last week, Medium has been blocked in Malaysia by MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission), leaving Malaysian Medium users like myself wondering what to do. At this point, one might be curious why a blogging website is banned. Before you guess piracy or pornography, the reason is apparently Sarawak Report posted an article. Yes, as ridiculous as it sounds, MCMC blocked the whole platform because of one user.
Why Every Malaysian Should Be Concerned
The reason is simple enough for Medium users - you are now deprived of access to the entire website. Yes, some tech-savvy persons might have found some ways to get around it but that is far from a solution. How can everyday regular internet users access it? If you want to share posts targeted at Malaysians, you can expect to reach little to none.
Now, even if you are not a Medium user, you should still be concerned about this level of internet censorship. You certainly do not want a blanket ban like this to happen again on an online service that you use. It could be someone put up something deemed illegal on Blogger, on Wordpress, on Thumblr, on Youtube, on Faceboook or on Twitter caused those websites to be blocked in Malaysia instead of having just the specific content censored. Also, this is probably further damaging Malaysia’s reputation - Medium is a very famous platform, what would foreign investors think? It might not have an immediate, direct impact on everyone yet but this is an unhealthy phenomenon no matter how you look at it.
What Can You Do
I must admit that I do not know any good solution to this mess but the very least everyone could do is to raise your concerns on this matter to your internet service provider (TM, Maxis, etc.) and MCMC. Please, send them emails or call them, let them know how the censorship has affected you, ask for a solution from them, make your voice heard. Do follow the Unblock Medium Facebook Page for more information.
Be the change you wish to see in this world.