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China Bans Scratch, MIT's Programming Language for Kids

By TechCrunch

September 8, 2020

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China's enthusiasm for teaching children to code is facing a new roadblock as organizations and students can no longer access the website of Scratch, the programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab.

An organization that monitors Internet censorship in China shows that the website was 100% blocked as early as August 20.

Nearly 60 million children around the world have used Scratch's visual programming language to make games, animations, stories, and the like. That includes students in China, where 5.65% or 3 million of Scratch's registered users are based. 

Projects on Scratch contain "a great deal of humiliating, fake, and libelous content about China," including placing Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan in a dropdown list of "countries," a state-run news outlet reported on August 21.

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