Imperfect censorship: making sense of web blocking statistics

Compare the availability of YouTube in 2 different countries around same time-frame, during the past year:

(These graphs are from the government transparency website, which also contains information about legal subpoenas for information.)

Both countries had been blocking YouTube, among other Google services but the charts appear to indicate that the censorship in Turkey has been less than watertight. There are noticeable dips at the beginning of April and  June, with occasional spikes that may either be a temporary failure in the blocking or perhaps an organic spike in volume.  The blocks appear to be lifted in November, and traffic once again recovers. What is unusual is that the normalized volume never flatlines, does not go down to zero or even hover around the single digit percentages.

Contrast that with Iran, where the percentages never climb above a few percent and hover below 1% after what appears to be a tweak to the censorship implementation around August.


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