I think most participating in the discussion on this mailing list do not
hold that attitude, thankfully. But I do see quite a few "ZOMG
CENSORSHIP!"-like comments on IRC and AN. On IRC, an American actually did
say something like "If the rest of the world want to censor, screw the rest
of the world".
Wikipedia's stance against censorship seems noble in theory, but in
practice, it looks more like ideological blindness. It worsens systemic bias
by giving editors, especially Americans, carte blanche (did I use that
correctly?) to attack other cultures.
By the way, I agree that the policy against open proxies needs to be
changed. TOR is the best and most common way to circumvent the Great
Firewall of China. Why are many established Wikipedians, not at all
concerned that mainland Chinese. who comprise around 20% of the world
population, cannot edit Wikipedia?
(I apologise for the anti-Americanism. In my experience, it is usually
Americans who are like that, although some non-Americans are like that too.
Many Americans are not like that and I wish to assure them that I am not
targeting them in this post.)
Written with passion,
J.L.W.S. The Special One
2008/12/9, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell(a)gmail.com>om>:
On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 10:28 PM, J.L.W.S. The Special One
I am concerned by the "only the USA matters,
screw the rest of the world"
attitude displayed by some American Wikipedians.
Do we care more about fighting censorship or letting British users edit
I don't think we care all that much about "fighting censorship": We're
not really doing much fighting, we never have. We could do a lot: We
could be promoting SSL and TOR, we could be evading the block, we
could change Wikipedia to have a black background for censored users
with a video from Jimmy explaining why the current situation is
harmful. We could be litigating against the IWF and ISPs who are
hijacking our traffic, even if we don't think we'd win. etc. We could
make readers access to Wikipedia an all or nothing thing. These things
would be fighting censorship.
Right now we're just talking politely. At best you can say we're not
being instantly cowed by demands by some private organization, over
material which as far as we can tell both contributes to our mission
(in however minor a way) and which is not illegal. I think this is
good because if we were to do otherwise there would be no clear place
The editing problems are purely from the technical incompetence in the
manner in which the UK censorship is being performed, and not from the
censorship itself. So long as the UK networks use censorship run in a
technically broken way we can have no safety no matter what we host.
Your dichotomy is a false one.
(1) The blocking should be changed to be the actual image, rather than
the page text. This would remove most of the collateral damage (no
more editing problems), and actually do better at accomplishing their
goals. Right now the ISPs and IWF claim to be protecting people from a
harmful image, yet they aren't doing that: Instead they are protecting
people from the discussion of the controversy and not stopping the
image at all.
(2) All of the proxies should be sending the XFF header to avoid the
collateral damage. (a few did, and we we accept the header from them
We've requested both of these things for days now, because of the way
the filtering is performed (with each ISP doing its own thing) (2) may
take a while, but I see no technical reason why (1) couldn't be done
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