In the lead up to the Beijing Olympic Games internet censorship and restrictions meant Chinese nationals, visitors and journalists were unable to access websites deemed to have 'sensitive' information that may be harmful to the Chinese Communist Party, such as religious and spiritual practices, democratic movements and human rights groups.
Having the Olympics in Beijing provided the perfect opportunity for many groups and causes to shine light on human rights abuses committed by the CCP such as in Tibet, and also on its own nationals, with members of Falun Gong, Uyghurs and outlawed Christian groups. This approach has proved effective in getting their messages out to the world as millions of internet users logged on to video sharing websites to watch videos related to these causes during the Olympics.
According to statistics by TubeMogul.com, a free web service that provides "a single point for deploying uploads to the top video sharing sites, and powerful analytics on who, what, and how videos are being viewed," 13 Falun Gong-related videos were among the top 100 most-viewed videos in the first week of the Beijing Games, netting 3.5 million hits across YouTube, Revver, Dailymotion and Metacafe.
In the second week of the Games another four videos were in that category, netting 1 million hits. TubeMogul began tracking Falun Gong videos in 2006 and up until the Olympics the net view of related videos was only 95,000 hits.