[Foundation-l] Chinese Wikipedia unblocked in Mainland China

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Fri Jul 4 03:22:37 UTC 2008

Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 3, 2008 at 10:26 PM, John Vandenberg <jayvdb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I hear from friends on the ground that while the Chinese Wikipedia is
>> now unblocked, the firewall is definitely still interfering.  They
>> report connection resets (modus operandi of the great firewall) on
>> every *second* visit to the article on Mao Zedong.
> It may be that it attempts to reset every time but the reset arrives
> too late to matter half the time.
> But of course, this is the sort of concern I was raising in my prior
> post... I wasn't attempting any knock on the PRC, since it's certainly
> far from the only government with bad policies ...
> Just that blocking isn't the worst that can be done.  Leaving the
> appearance of non-interference while responding more subtly is
> potentially much more harmful.

I'd hardly call home invasion by the police "subtle".

However, you're unlikely to meet that reaction if you're reading the 
article on quantum electrodynamics. The aim of the Wikimedia Foundation is 
education, not dissent. Unblocking our domains is a big win for education, 
whichever way you look at it.

It may be true that Chinese people will continue to have problems 
receiving education on certain topics, such as the mistakes of the past 
and present leadership of the CCP. But take comfort in the fact that they 
will be able to read about democracy, about political systems and living 
conditions in other parts of the world; about history and the terrible 
things perpetrated by dictatorial regimes on their people. Perhaps 
Wikimedia can contribute to China's gradual liberalisation in this way.

-- Tim Starling

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