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China blocks Wikipedia in all languages

By midian182 · 15 replies
May 16, 2019
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  1. China already blocks thousands of websites, including Gmail, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And while the Chinese-language version of Wikipedia has been blocked since 2015, versions in other languages had been available until now.

    The Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) reports that the original ban was expanded to cover all languages last month. The Wikipedia Foundation told the BBC that it had received “no notice” of the move.

    “In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China. After closely analyzing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions,” the organization said, in a statement.

    As noted by Engadget, Wikipedia’s switch to HTTPS back in 2015 made it much more difficult for China’s government to monitor which pages its citizens were looking at. Banning Wikipedia in all languages means people now can’t use online translators to read the site's content.

    No reason has been given as to why China expanded the ban, but it has been known to block websites as anniversaries of political events draw near. June 4 marks thirty years since thousands of pro-democracy student protesters were killed by authorities at Tiananmen Square.

    China has been clamping down hard on its citizens’ internet freedoms over the last few years, demanding that the country’s biggest carriers block personal VPNs to stop people circumventing its Great Firewall. Additionally, we recently heard how the nation’s Twitter users face detention, interrogation, and threats for posting on the platform.

    Image credit: Ivan Marc via Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 4,067   +1,190

    "blocks thousands of websites, including Gmail, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter" Puzzles me as to why they do that. The 'reasons' seem so nearsighted and insufficient. I wonder what kind of handicap this places on the Chinese population.
     
    toooooot likes this.
  3. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,478   +3,037

    Communism and tyranny share one root, and they blossom where liberty dies. Pity that the people lack will to revolve.
     
    toooooot likes this.
  4. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,254   +906

    I've lived in China.

    Their television isn't worth watching because it's educational, informative, lacking in violence, lacking in sex and lacking in drug use and misogyny.

    Every single channel was either like watching National Geographic, CSPAN or ABC family hour.

    MEANWHILE in America: We have the "freedom" to watch whatever we want while the children act like hyperactive savages: fighting, shooting up schools, bullying each other to death or to suicide and nobody seems to know why.

    The video games made him do it?

    Violent TV made him do it?

    Violent movies made him do it?

    Violent music made him do it?

    And in the worst case scenario: we take a murderer alive...then it becomes a media debate (trial by media) about what to do with them.

    So basically, China has over 4 times the US population and 1/ 10th the crime because:

    #1 they execute murderers, rapists, embezellers, fraudsters, drug offenders, etc. Recidivism rate = 0%.

    #2 they don't tolerate what America tolerates and there isn't such wild disparity between police treatment of minorities. In person, I've witnessed the PRC does not treat the Tibetan/ Xin Zhang people with the level of racism that America has minorities.

    It's basically two extremes.

    But China isn't alone in its censorship.

    Germany locks up Nazis and sympathizers while America continues to uphold statues and symbology of racial segregation.

    Should I be upset with China for "controlling the narrative"?

    Well, there's plenty of finger pointing to go round.
     
  5. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,568   +559

    I wonder if the Chinese say the same thing about our self imposed tariffs and Huawei ban. Really wikipedia's ban saddens me. Just like our corrupt government their politicians will use this trade war to meet their ends. This is just my guess on the rationale.

    p.s. QuantumPhysics, they declared the Chinese government has to pick the next Dalai Lama a few years ago. Pretty insane, but then again the USA allows legal bribes to politicians via lobbying and campaign contributions. Pick your poison.

    p.s.s. With the end of net neutrality for no reason at all, all ISP can now legally ban all of those websites as well in the USA.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    xxLCxx likes this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,393   +3,780

    Well, since the Whitehouse is so big on free speech, they should embargo any message traffic coming out of China too!
     
  7. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,254   +906


    Trump is backing down from his tariffs. Basically, the game he's playing with the stock market is "pump and dump".
     
  8. SolidSneak

    SolidSneak TS Rookie Posts: 16   +6

    Seems also like a short sighted plan. Not as drastic as this mass ban in China, but still a generally unhealthy move.
     
  9. avioza

    avioza TS Maniac Posts: 208   +160

    Not disagreeing with some of your western criticisms but... it depends on how they use that narrative.

    Mao did not need a secret police. He used the narrative to have the population severely persecute/eliminate whatever groups he wanted.

    Times have changed but the party has not relinquished that control. They have just chosen to moderate the narrative... for now.
     
  10. xxLCxx

    xxLCxx TS Addict Posts: 231   +153

  11. Lounds

    Lounds TS Addict Posts: 198   +126

    I watched a video of China building a bridge over a motorway within 12 hours Vs the US where it took years. China is super efficient, sadly lacks any form of freedom of expression.
     
  12. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 771   +293

    What are you afraid of, China? Truth? Censorship is fear of the truth.
     
  13. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 822   +406

    Their kids are playing western games, watching western movies, and drinking western fake starbucks coffee.
    Fools in power are gonna vanish and their reign will come to the end.
    The only question is when.
    I mean if atrocious kingdom like north Korea is has held for almost 80 years, China in this state could exist for a while.
    And one important fact is that the more indifferent the citizens are to what their rules do, the easier it is to control and enslave them.
    Russia is a good example. My house is at the end, this is not my business. The king knows what is best for us simple people.
    So yea, it will be interesting to see how far these regulations and censorship will get.
    I mean, they have Internet. Limited and censored as it is, they still know a lot and can learn and see where they are compared to the civilized world.
     
  14. Bp968

    Bp968 TS Booster Posts: 101   +78

    It's likely you'd have a slightly different opinion of the whole thing if you were part of the targeted population (like the Uygurs). It's why what they have been doing is so effective. If your busy living your life and on the surface your life seems to be getting better (better living conditions, better food, more money, more luxuries, etc) the fact that you can't play certain games, view certain websites, or say bad things about the government gets much easier to ignore.

    I mean, the comment I'm responding to right now would likely be something that would get you watched in China. If you had an extensive social media following and any significant cultural pull it would get much more focused attention and you would be "encouraged" to change your tune.

    With the new "social scorecard" system they won't even need to weed out the people who say verboten things, the system will identify and punish them automatically. The rat can run one way and get a treat or run the other way and get zapped. Most of the rats will run towards the treats.

    If you think there is any sort of equivalency between the US and a system like that than the media has sold you on the "packaged fear" hook like and sinker.
     
  15. koblongata

    koblongata TS Addict Posts: 205   +61

    Another World
     
  16. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 771   +293

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