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Developer, Blocky

Developer, Blocky

GreatFire is an organization that monitors censorship and promotes free speech online, particularly in China. We are united by a belief in universal rights to access information and the ability to use technology to defend these rights. We offer flexible working hours, competitive pay, and a collaborative working environment. Our entire team works remotely.

The Role

We are seeking somebody to manage and improve GreatFire’s flagship website, GreatFire Analyzer (https://en.greatfire.org/analyzer). This website was recently rebranded as Blocky (https://blocky.greatfire.org/). Both websites are currently in use but the plan would be to shift to using Blocky on a permanent basis and decommissioning Analyzer.

Blocky checks to see whether a website is being blocked by the Great Firewall of China. Blocky first started to collect data about blocked websites in 2011. Tests of websites are conducted by users who visit Blocky. Some automated testing of websites also occurs. No other website has accumulated as much data around the blocking of websites in Mainland China.

It is our hope that the ideal candidate will run Blocky independently with as little involvement from the GreatFire team as possible.

Location: Remote

Key Responsibilities:

Fix any current bugs in Blocky and work with the GreatFire team to identify other issues with the Blocky website that need to be improved.

Manage the decommissioning of Analyzer and the “official” launch of Blocky.

Decide what information should appear on the Blocky website in addition to test data of websites. For example, the current Analyzer site provides data points that highlight the scale of website censorship in Mainland China (number of Alexa top 1000 domains being blocked, number of HTTPS websites).

Expand the testing capability of the website to include new domain extensions - i.e. .tv, .china, etc.

Develop an API so that others (academics, journalists, researchers, etc.) can easily access and use the data from the website.

Proactively improve the usability and functionality of the website.

Manage the strategy and growth of Blocky, including generating more tests of websites and expanding the opportunities to use the data from the website. Generate regular reports that show engagement and growth in user visits and user-generated tests on Blocky, and make recommendations to improve performance.

Create roadmaps and future plans for Blocky which can be used to help raise funding for the continued development of the website.

Monitor news media and social media to discover instances of others using data from Blocky.

Generate regular reports that show engagement and growth in user visits and user-generated tests on Blocky, and make recommendations to improve performance.

Liaise with partner organizations and journalists on communications efforts. Act as GreatFire’s spokesperson (if possible) on all website censorship-related issues.

Contribute to the creation of blogs, graphics, short videos, and other online content.


The current backend system is a Java application. The older Analyzer website is built using Drupal and PHP. The newer Blocky version is based on NodeJS and Vue.js. You are expected to have a sufficient understanding of these technologies to easily take over the management of the existing software. We are open to suggestions when it comes to moving to other frameworks.

Ability to work independently, take initiative, and be creative and resourceful. This includes researching and proposing solutions and proactively problem-solving when issues arise while also understanding the power of working in teams.

Strong project management skills. The ability to tackle complex projects, break them down into smaller pieces, and meet and prioritize deadlines in a constantly developing environment.

Excellent interpersonal skills, judgment and tact in dealing with confidential information.

What we would like (preferred qualifications):

Knowledge of secure communications and privacy practices.

Have experience in similar projects.

Experience working in an advocacy organization, especially in a technical capacity.

Chinese language proficiency is not required but would be valued.

Other requirements

Work will be conducted on a remote basis. Candidates can be based anywhere.

Ability to work in a multi-cultural work environment and commitment to equal opportunities and non-discrimination.

Commitment to our mission, core values and objectives.

Required Application Materials

Interested candidates should send a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, including a description of any relevant life or work experience as well as a resume to charlie@greatfire.org. Candidates can apply anonymously and are encouraged to do so from a ProtonMail account. Additional information may be requested during the application process.

We are a global human rights organization and consider applicants without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other legally protected status.

We value applicants with diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and experiences.

All our team members work anonymously and use secure communication methods and we require the candidate to understand these safety measures.


  1. Send an email to support@greatfire.org
  2. Make sure that you are using a safe email account

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