From: "Yann Forget" <yann(a)forget-me.net>
> > Today China gverment blocked all lang. of all projet on wikimedia. How
> > manages?
> Are you sure of that ?
> This looks like serious bad news.
I can't get to wikipedias today with my ADSL connection located in Sichuan.
I hope tomorow...
Chinese government had blocked Chinese Wikipedia for a week now, and they blocked the whole Wikipedia project since 9 June at least in Beijing. By now we have confirmed that Wikipedians in Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan, He'Nan, Sichuan can't access Chinese Wikipedia; obviously it is a national-wide ban.
I'm the first contributor of Chinese Wikipedia and an administrator of it; I'm very worry about the situation now. The fast growth of the Chinese Wikipedia before the ban showed that Wikipedia project have been accepted by the Chinese people, but now how can you image that the door lead to the interesting Wiki world which had opened to us must be closed so easily. It's really a pity for us.
My ISP is the top-level sub-node of the CERN (Chinese Education and Research Network). I had visited administrators there. They told me that the Chinese National Security Bureau is responsible for such ban issues, but they only give you an order to ban, and you have no way to give them feedbacks. We, administrators of Chinese Wikipedia in Beijing, decided to contact the administrators of the whole CERN this week, and if it is needed we will try to contact the Chinese National Security Bureau. Before we get more information about the ban, please don't release a press about it, maybe it is only a several-weeks ban.
Formulax and Daniel Mayer hopes that a press release will make them feel shame and then cancel the ban. I really don't think so. Maybe an unthoughtful press release will make things worse and worse.
If the worst happens, the ban is a long-term policy; I think we still have a choice: we can setup a mirror inside P.R.China. The mirror uses the mediawiki software, and is under GNU FDL also. Because the wiki page is editable, we must develop some tools to keep the mirror and the Chinese Wikipedia consistent each other. The mirror is under the management of the Mediawiki Foundation also. To assure the accessibility to the Chinese people, we had to filter out some sensitive information from the mirror. It is not idealistic, but it is realistic.
Yes, having en.Wikipedia in China is a wonderfull tool for teachers that
have not so many valuable material here. It's also nice for students and I
gave mine the links on Chinese versions, explaining them what is a wiki. I
sent also links to other teachers in other fields (like Chinese culture,
psychology), and some used it as main material for their courses. What
westerners may not know is that universities in China are very important in
the city life (in Kunming, campuses fill nearly fully the north-west quarter
of the city) and the biggest university's dean is often one of the five most
influential men around the mayor. Here education is something important, and
Chinese gov is focusing a lot on it, because they know that well educated
people produce wealth and stability.
My claim is that, if something is to be done to lift this ban, I suggest to
do it first in a soft way, not using laywers, but try to convince Chinese
officials that wikipedia is mainly a wonderfull free tool for educational
purposes, that, as far as they agree on "encyclopedic NPOV", /they/ can
check it and change articles if they think the content offenses China's
integrity or so on. They know perfectly well how to drive such kind of
Example : There are few pages on "how to write Chinese articles" explaining
how to deal with Tawainese problem that would probably fit their demands
("never present Tawain as a nation", and so on... can't find the page now,
you know why....) So I suppose the best could be to try to ask them (but who
? thats the problem, see below) which pages they don't like and deal with
it, explain them that wikipedia is always under construction and that, with
their help, offensive pages will progressively reach npov. The question they
could ask is something like "is wikipedia controlable ?" We would answer
yes, very easily in 99% cases, using admin tools like locking pages in the
other 1%. We could also say that there is a simple and open procedure to
become admin on chinese wikipedia...
Trying to go too quickly in frontal fight would imho be a mistake. They may
want something in exchange if they lift the ban. This "something" could
simply be the possibility to participate in the project, what everybody can
So "who" is to be contacted ? I have no idea but maybe this article
give a direction. See also http://net.China.cn
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jiong Sheng" <sheng.jiong(a)gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2004 12:20 PM
Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Re: China goverment maybe blocked wikipedia today
> Now I think if the ban is still not lifted for another week, we shall
> have a press release about this. I agree with mav that if the whole
> world knows about it Chinese government will lift the ban, just like
> what it did to Google in 2002.
> Another possible choice is to consult a lawyer in PRC. There was a
> case last December, when a Hong Kong reporter brought a political
> magazine into mainland and was confiscated by the Custom. He sued the
> local government and won the case. I believe that we have to fight for
> this freedom. If we keep quiet then they will never lift the ban.
> On Sun, 13 Jun 2004 01:10:00 +0800, ruimu uestc <ruimu(a)uestc.edu.cn>
> > From: "Yann Forget" <yann(a)forget-me.net>
> > > > Today China gverment blocked all lang. of all projet on wikimedia.
> > > > manages?
> > >
> > > Are you sure of that ?
> > > This looks like serious bad news.
> > I can't get to wikipedias today with my ADSL connection located in
> > I hope tomorow...
> > (gbog)
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikipedia-l mailing list
> > Wikipedia-l(a)Wikimedia.org
> > http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikipedia-l
> Wikipedia-l mailing list
A bug caused vote to not be correctly submitted prompting a blank page
to the user voting. This is like 2 days olds maybe.
Every user that have been prompted with a blank page after voting should
check the vote list and check if they are in the list as their vote
might not have been saved.
If you are not in the list, please revote.
Sorry for the trouble.
I have looked through the help files but couldnt find anything about my
Id like to translate the menu of the Klingon Wikipedia into Klingon as
well. How do I do this? Can you provide some links on this? By the way,
Im also an Admin on the Klingon Wikipedia, so it should work...
Second question is: Is it possible to change the menu language when
browsing a Wikipedia in another language? Because I think it *might* be
easier to have an English menu, although only a Klingon menu would make
it complete. Is there such a possibility?
> Timwi wrote:
>> It was actually put up at around 18:10 UTC (I was there at the time).
>> YES, we DO need a 24-hour notice. Different users are from different
>> time zones and use Wikipedia at different times of the day.
> So? If Wikipedia is down and they did not know about it, what's the big
Uhm... you ask them. People tend to make a big fuss when that happens.
> Are there people who plan their schedules a day in advance and
> absolutely must edit Wikipedia from 1800 to 1830 UTC on a particular
> day, and would be irate if they could not reschedule in advance?
This has nothing to do with scheduling, but everything with
communication (knowing of planned downtimes in advance) and convenience
(it's frustrating if you don't know when it will be back up).
> The complaints I've heard [...] are that users would like *some*
> warning so if they are in the middle of an edit they can save it
> before the server goes down [...]
This is one type of complaint, yes; I've seen others though. Mainly that
if downtime is known in advance, then everyone should know in advance.
> It makes the site look ugly,
You're welcome to suggest a better look at [[MediaWiki
> and gives the impression to the public that
> Wikipedia is down much more than it is,
I don't think we should be trying to use psychological tricks to make an
impression that suits us. Telling users the truth is more honest. If
Wikipedia is down, we shouldn't be covering it up like a secret agency.
> Server status messages should be minimized as much as possible [...]
Actually, I think downtimes should be minimised as much as possible. :-p
Several users in China had repoerted that they can't visite the whole Wikipedia today.
China goverment maybe blocked wikipedia, because today is the 15th commemoration day
for the Tiananmen Square Event.
So far it is not sure whether Wikipedia is blocked, more infomation is needed for confirmation.
I'm an administrator for Chinese Wikipedia in P.R.China.
The next time someone puts up a "server down" message, please could you
be a little bit more professional? Currently it reads:
wiki will be down for approximately 30 minute, please excuse the
What are visitors supposed to think of that?!
I'm particularly annoyed by the fact that there seems to be nobody that
I can contact about these things. I asked on IRC who put up the message
and was told it is shaihulud. So I asked him to change it, but he
deferred me to someone else who shall remain unnamed. That someone
started telling me they had been spewing in the toilet. WTF?
Why can't we simply have a Wiki-editable server down message that will
be used automatically? In particular, it should be a different one on
each different language Wikipedia. :-p