[Wikipedia-l] China and principles

Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales jwales at wikia.com
Sat Sep 25 10:28:55 UTC 2004

First of all, let me say that as always, for me NPOV is
non-negotiable.  There will be no policy which says that Chinese
wikipedia must avoid topics that are upsetting to the Chinese
government.  Chris Mahan and anyone else who advocates for such a
policy may continue to do so, and such a discussion might prove
interesting, but please do so with full knowledge that I place a very
absolute firm veto on the idea from the outset, so the discussion will
necessarily be academic only.

I don't exercise my authority much, but I have always said that NPOV
is non-negotiable, and I really do mean that.

Having said that, I also think that the best approach for us is to
work within the Chinese system to whatever degree is possible.  That
is, although I do not know much about Chiense law, I know that the
Chinese constitution guarantees the freedom of speech, press,
assembly, and that Chinese law does allow for these things to a
degree.  It is most likely the case that Wikipedia's policies of
neutrality mean that we do not actually violate Chinese law, although
in the long run we may have to go into court in China to prove it.

This will be difficult and expensive, but it is a far better route
than either of wild ranting against the Chinese government and a far
far far better route than to give up our neutrality principles for the
sake of convenience.


"La nèfle est un fruit." - first words of 50,000th article on fr.wikipedia.org

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