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    mitbbs forum. The forum was started in 1997 as bbs.mit.edu at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hence the "MIT" in its name. However, its history can be traced to two earlier forums: the Unknown BBS at Peking University, China from 1996-1997, followed by the Space BBS at Center for Space Science at Chinese Academy of Sciences. Unlike the two precursors which were located in China, the MIT forum is much less affected by Internet censorship in mainland China, and grew in popularity among Chinese students studying abroad.

    In 2002, the Chinese government blocked access to the entire mit.edu domain. Some have speculated that the main reason was to prevent domestic users from accessing the uncensored political discussions on this forum. Eventually, due to the popularity of the forum and bandwidth limitations, the forum was moved from the mit.edu domain to its own permanent domain at mitbbs.com.

    In 2004, to circumvent the block in place in China, a self-censored server was opened to facilitate access by users in China.

    Currently there are about 300 topic groups. The website claims that it has hundreds of thousands of registered users, most of whom are Overseas Chinese, and 85% of their internet traffic is generated from within the US. The forum allows http and telnet access for public postings, private messaging, exclusive groups (clubs) and, most recently, blogging.


    www.mitbbs.com - 410 - mitbbs forum

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