[Wikipedia-l] Re: wikipedia in China
erik_moeller at gmx.de
Fri Sep 24 00:35:00 UTC 2004
> I totally agree with you here.
> I do not mean chinese editors should not talk about the controversial
> issues, but if they should also take *great care* to talk about the good
> points above mentionned.
I have to disagree here, but I also have to say that I consider the
Chinese government nothing but fascism with a red touch. Frankly, I don't
see Wikipedia working in such an environment, unless we can provide true
anonymity for authors and make the site censorship-resistant, i.e. it
would have to be hosted on something like Freenet. I believe Wikimedia
should definitely pursue such a strategy, but see little hope of
convincing the rest of you guys of this.
I can see your point about hypocrisy, but I have been a consistent
advocate against any type of self-censorship on any Wikipedia. "With the
first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first
thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably."
Call me unrealistic, but I'd prefer it if the Chinese Wikipedia upheld its
freedom of expression, even if that means that it won't be available to
most of the Chinese citizens. Education is meaningless when it is
immediately instrumentalized and molded according to the demands of a
repressive government. It will be unavailable or turned into propaganda in
all the areas where it matters most.
If we take a stand for freedom here, then perhaps this will drive more
people to realize the true importance of freedom of speech on the
Internet. Let's not give in to those who would have people not think for
themselves, whether they're religious fundamentalists in the United States
or so-called communists in China. And somehow I have the feeling that our
work will outlive both.
Our subtitle, "The Free Encyclopedia", should never invite sarcasm and
cynicism. It should be taken literally.
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