By way of our Corby Kummer, currently in Beijing, an Atlantic article page as seen in China, showing gray boxes where we have Twitter-follow and Facebook-recommend buttons:
(Note that the Google+ icon abides.)
What's up with that? In China, of course, lots of websites -- Twitter and Facebook among them -- are almost always blocked by the Great Firewall
. That is, they're usually blocked, not consistently blocked, James Fallows tells us, because unpredictability is part of the Chinese system's strength. Since our Twitter and Facebook buttons load via an iframe (i.e., by our page making a call directly to Twitter and Facebook), China's Great Firewall blanks out the buttons, though, thankfully, not the rest of our site.