Slideshare and China

slideshare logo

Slideshare is fast becoming one of my favorite sites. I use it when I need to learn about a topic or when I am checking our a potential speaker’s presentation abilities. I stopped by the new Slideshare offices last week for a brief visit last week. While there I asked about their recent issue with China. It turns out hey are still getting DDOS attacks and fake user requests from IP addresses that originate in China. The attacks are no longer major issues for them, but it is definitely still a nuisance as they vary from a SYN flood attack one day to a brute force SSH attack later that week.

The Slideshare team has been unsure from the beginning why some of the user uploaded content is objectionable and has refused to take it down. They asked a friend with some knowledge of Chinese to give them a rough approximation of what the content was about. The first presentation, 六合彩, seems to be about “international language learning platform for children”. The second presentation, 香港六合彩, sounds a little more like something the Chinese government might find problematic based on my limited understanding of the Chinese government’s policies. As the friend wrote “Possible that Wang Silu’s personal narrative (slides 10-13) could be interpreted as politically sensitive. He’s a lawyer who represented clients in anti-corruption cases against various local party members in Guangdong province, and an advocate for the rule of law.” This second slide show has been viewed over 20K times.

One of the interesting things is that amidst all of this their Chinese content has increased. In fact it shot up at the same time that the DDOS attacks started. There are a lot of presentations showing the damage from the earthquake (this one is very well-done and this one shows lots of different maps of the area).

slideshare tags

If you look at Slideshare’s Hot Tags page you’ll see the relative popularity of their Chinese content. These popular tags, 六合彩 六合彩图库 六合彩开 香港六合彩 香港六合彩公司, translated as phrases related to Mark Six. This meant nothing to me, but according to China-based O’Reilly employees Michele Chen and Douglas Wan Mark Six is a lottery game run out of Hong Kong; it is illegal in China.

That’s a lot of varied content from an unlocalized country. Seems like Slideshare should take advantage of this momentum and localize to Chinese soon, but hold off on getting local servers in China.