Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wikipedia blocked again in China

Wikipedia's English site has been again blocked in China, in an ongoing saga which has seen this site frequently blocked by the Chinese government.

Read here Wikipedia's account of the frequent blocks of its site in the country.

The Chinese government frequently blocks sites with information that the regime considers controversial, such as the Falun Gong religious cult and independence for Taiwan and Tibet, according to a report by the IDG News Service in ComputerworldUK. The current blocking may be related to the upcoming Communist Party Congress, which begins Oct. 15 in Beijing, IDG said Thursday.

Wikipedia holds that its site has been blocked since Aug 31, though IDG quotes users saying that the latest block fell into place this week.

While Wikipedia's English site is occasionally available, its Chinese-language sites are almost permanently blocked, IDG News Service added.

The online community developed encylopedia has been suffering both from censorship by governments, and by attempts by companies and people to embellish references to them in Wikipedia. Its credibility was challenged by recent disclosures that the site has been frequently edited by self-serving interests including companies modifying write-ups on themselves.

Getting listed on Wikipedia has emerged as a new sign of having arrived in your field. The provision for easy addition of entries has ensured that a number of people have created write-ups on friends and family. Very often these folks would not figure by a stretch on an administered encylopedia like the Brittanica. Wikipedia, of course, holds that its technology allows others to make changes and add to Wikipedia content, a provision that is part of its community focus, which is at times misused.

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