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China is Banning Children’s Programming Language Scratch

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China has banned Scratch, a computer language that children can use to learn to program. The website of the language can no longer be reached from within the country.

 

The reason for blocking Scratch would be “a large amount of demeaning, bogus and defamatory content about China,” according to a state media.

China is thought to have a problem mainly with the ‘country’ that users can choose after installing the software: Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. Hong Kong and Macau are unique administrative regions of China, and the People’s Republic sees Taiwan as a renegade province.

Scratch was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is used by more than 58 million children worldwide to learn to code. More than three million of these come from China.

Scratch is said to be used by more and more Chinese schools, which is worrying authorities.

“Allowing a free flow of anti-Chinese and separatist information damages the feelings of the Chinese people, violates borders and poisons future Chinese generations,” said a state media. Scratch’s source code is available for free, making it easy to create local alternatives.

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