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Monday, August 6, 2007

Jimmy Wales Not to Bow Down to Chinese Authorities?

Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales was present at the Wikimania 2007 conference (August 3-5) in Taipei, Taiwan. According to information from Radio Taiwan International (my emphasis) ...

Wikipedia, whose contents are written and edited by its users, is currently blocked in China. Chinese search engine Baidu however has been offering some of the website’s content while claiming it as its own copyrighted material.

Wales said he would travel to China in September to meet with high-level officials to address the issue of blockage. But he said that the website would not censor its content to gain official approval as other online giants Google and Yahoo have done.

As you may know Google is working with government authorities responsible for Chinese propaganda since around 2004, when Google first started self-censoring Google News sources for China. Later in 2005, Google on request added a websites blacklist to a new Google China search engine. Google’s stated reason is that by bringing a better overall Google connection to China mainland users, it will help their mission of bringing more information to China.

Google at this time too agreed to censor some Wikipedia content in China, but they do not censor all. A search for [] for instance results in nothing but a censorship disclaimer on However, many of other English Wikipedia pages are being shown in, including those covering “sensitive” issues. Google agreed to also self-censor the Google cache in China though, so if the page itself happens to be censored, you can’t click the cache to read it (the cache was additionally censored by Chinese ISPs back when Google still offered it).

More on the blocking of Wikipedia in China can be found at Wikipedia.


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