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Chinese Ban on Wikipedia Prevents Research

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the using-wikipedia-as-a-first-party-source dept.

Censorship 439

An anonymous reader writes "China has banned access to Wikipedia for the third time, outraging students and intellectuals." From the article: "The latest blocking of the website, the third shutdown of the site in China in the past two years, has now continued for more than 10 weeks without any explanation and without any indication whether the ban is temporary or permanent ... Others said the blocking of Wikipedia has been a major blow to their research projects and even to their prospects of passing civil-service exams. 'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked on another Chinese website."

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439 comments

Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438757)

I guess we wait for another Tiananmen Square [wikipedia.org] to happen again. It kind of makes one wonder what exactly was accomplished in 1989 when 100,000 protesters marched in Beijing. Appearantly not much.

While the U.S. is concerned with this [gwu.edu] , maybe we should instead be concerned with that [hrichina.org] ?

Either way, if you're interested in what the U.S. is concerned about, maybe you should read documents made available by the Freedom of Information Act [gwu.edu] .

What are people supposed to do if they cannot free themselves from a suppressive government? It's not worth violence to be able to read wikipedia but it's clear that non-violent protests in the past did very little.

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (3, Interesting)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438883)

I believe China has had its fair share of violent protests (which usually led to revolution and overturn of a government) throughout its history.

What I'm trying to say is, What shall be can be the is of what was - Lao Fu Tzu

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (-1, Troll)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438977)

When does marching ever solve anything? They need to get with the program and see how effective civil war has been in the past.

Besides, the Chinese seem to be okay without civil rights, because their economy and power are growing. When they're the world superpower in 50 years or so, then they can worry about freedom.

Doomed. Doomed, I tell you! (4, Insightful)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438990)

I don't know if China as we know it is more doomed by their absurd governmental policies, or by the fact that their uyounger generation's research seems to depend on the archived wisdom of random people on the street. I'll grant Wikipedia is getting better, but (a) to depend on it as a primary source of scholarship at this point is absurd and (b) even in China, especially at universities, there are other options.

Unless one's thesis is on the Wikipedia, anyone depending oslely on Wikipedia for research needs a reality slap.

Re:Doomed. Doomed, I tell you! (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439050)

Unless one's thesis is on the Wikipedia, anyone depending oslely on Wikipedia for research needs a reality slap.

I don't think it's really fair for you to say something like this unless you live in China and get along fine with the suppression of websites.

Afterall, I've found very helpful things on Wikipedia. I just wrote a Hidden Markov Model using the Viterbi Algorithm and did it from scratch in Java using WordNet and this page [wikipedia.org] . Am I saying I could write a paper off of Wikipedia? No, but when that's all you have to work with, it may be more important than you think.

Re:Doomed. Doomed, I tell you! (2, Interesting)

GoodOmens (904827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439166)

I think your missing the point (or I'm reading to much into it). China is denying citizens access to information that it can't censor itself.

Sure a student could go read a regular encyclopedia, but what good is it if the goverment took all the "good" information out of it before he had a chance to read it?

Remember the tanks (3, Insightful)

matt me (850665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439004)

Excuse me, think back to that guy, standing in the path of the line of tanks, and stopping them. Even if it accomplished nothing locally, that has to be one of THE most touching images of the last century, that has inspired thousands to get up stand up for their rights.

Re:Remember the tanks (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439125)

Excuse me, think back to that guy, standing in the path of the line of tanks, and stopping them. Even if it accomplished nothing locally, that has to be one of THE most touching images of the last century, that has inspired thousands to get up stand up for their rights.
You're excused.

But certainly you can think of more moving moments than that. What about the buddhist monk who set himself on fire in public to protest Vietnam?

I'm not saying anyone should go to that length. I'm just saying if he only inspired thousands (like you said), then he certainly fell short as China has a population near one billion.

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (4, Insightful)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439047)

It kind of makes one wonder what exactly was accomplished in 1989 when 100,000 protesters marched in Beijing. Appearantly not much.

Oh no, there was *lots* accomplished by this protest, and the massacre that ensued.

The Chinese government proved to its citizenry that There Are Certain Things You Will Not Talk About.

The Chinese government proved to the rest of the world that it doesn't give a rat's ass what anyone else thinks about how They Run Their Country.

The American (and Canadian, and probably others too) government proved that they will walk on eggshells around the issue of free speech and human rights with China in order to get lucrative trade deals.

The Chinese government basically proved that not only can they crush dissent in *their* country, but in others too.

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (1)

guaigean (867316) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439056)

Yes, 100,000 marched. But how does that pale to the other ~999,900,000. Some people are willing to stand up, but until many, MANY more are willing, the situation will stay the same. Marches rarely contain the majority of people, and often only the most radical. In a population with 1 billion people, 100,000 protesters is only ~0.01% of the people. Until more of them stand up for themselves (if that's even what they want), there's very little that can be done to change China.

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (-1, Troll)

Tedium Unleased (764661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439108)

All they need to do is wait until the US backs terrorists to overthrow the government. Then wait a little more until those terrorists stop listening to the US. And then finally endure a US invasion to steal their natural resources, rape their women, and kill off a large number of civilians. Cheers

Re:Back to (Tiananmen) Square One? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439173)

It kind of makes one wonder what exactly was accomplished in 1989 when 100,000 protesters marched in Beijing. Appearantly not much.

Yes. That's kind of the point of the fact that they lost and the government won. :(

Advice: Revolution. (1)

RalphTWaP (447267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438779)

Soap, Ballot, Ammo; yes, of course.
Unfortunately the first use must often be in reverse order.

Re:Advice: Revolution. (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438912)

Others said the blocking of Wikipedia has been a major blow to their research projects and even to their prospects of passing civil-service exams. 'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked on another Chinese website."

Soap, Ballot, Ammo; yes, of course.

Unfortunately the first use must often be in reverse order.

There is a more peaceful solution - just go to the friging library and READ (oh, but that's too hard. I can't just google for the "good bits" - I'll have to read everything IN CONTEXT!)

"Research" is not the same as a quick google or yahoo. Anyone caught depending entirely on cut-n-paste citations from the web deserves a zero, and only because you can-t award a lower mark.

Re:Advice: Revolution. (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439008)

That depends, of course, on what they are researching. Perhaps they are researching Wikipeida itself, or the social construct that supports collaborative systems.

Both would make valid, and interesting, topics for a Masters/Phd thesis.

Context? (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439074)

In context of what?

Re:Advice: Revolution. (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439158)

From one doing real research, I have to say that the web is far more useful than most libraries when dealing with an esoteric subject or problem. I stopped by my library yesterday looking for some information on a number theory proof I'm constructing. They had nothing, and this is the best library in a sizable portion of New Jersey. All of the useful information I've found so far has come from the web - and it's just about enough to complete the proof with.

There are no grades in this sort of research. An answer is either correct or incorrect (in math, there's also "probably correct but not a theorem, since you screwed up somewhere along the way" and "too complicated for us to understand so you'll have to do it over"). The goal of the researcher is to use whatever is available to him, including the web, to find the correct answer.


Besides, what makes you think that they aren't censoring the libraries as well? (Granted, they probably wouldn't care much about subjects like computer science, but what about history or political science?)

Re:Advice: Revolution. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439072)

Unfortunately for them guns are banned from private citizen(subject/serf) ownership.

Thankfully in the US such totalitarizn attitudes towards gun ownership have not prevailed, except in NYC, Chicago, NJ, and California. Mostly pushed by power hungry and often hypocritical democrats who do not trust their constituents, yet pack concealed handguns of their own.

Europe with the exception of Finland and Switzerland seems to have its head up its collective ass too.

Re:Advice: Revolution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439080)

No, always use in that order; and if you don't have access to one of the boxes, skip, and go to the next one. As they don't have access to the first two; you get the same result.....

ROR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438781)


Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438784)

I do enjoy using Wikipedia for day-to-day use but I would not have used it for either of my Masters Thesis' as I don't think either oral defense committee would have accepted Wiki as an authoritative source. Perhaps that is different from school to school. Still, I wonder about the student puzzling how he/she will finish a thesis. I would suggest using mostly journal articles.

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (4, Informative)

MoonFog (586818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438807)

I found Wikipedia to be an excellent starting point on several issues when I was writing my thesis, but I did not use it as the source itself. The explanations on wikipedia are often very good and will give some insight into a topic you can explore further with more indepth research papers.

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438854)

If you are using any encyclopedia as an authoritative source of information, I would be highly skeptical.

I guess if you were doing your masters thesis on some aspect of the Wikipedia community, then I guess it would be authoritative on that, but not much else...

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438858)

I'd go so far as to say any student using primarily Wikipedia as a source hasn't learned how to search for information- or how to discern a good source from a bad one. On that alone, their doctorate should be denied.

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (1)

The Man (684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439037)

Agreed. The only value wikipedia could have is as a starting point to look for material, or perhaps to select a topic of interest. It's unusable as a source; the format, anonymous nature, and lack of qualified peer review are fatal. The concept is right but the rigor and accountability necessary to give an article credibility are absent. Worse still, encyclopedias (not just wikipedia) don't normally describe the process of arriving at facts, only the facts themselves, and without the background and process the articles have little credibility no matter who's writing them. I have to wonder what a student would need Wikipedia for if he's already working on his thesis. Uncyclopedia is a much better way to waste time while you're supposed to be writing.

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (1)

NanoGradStudent (878951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438960)

I agree. It's good for a quick lookup or as a starting point (especially into a subject with which you have little/no familiarity) or even some mental loitering, but sure as heck shouldn't be the determining factor of a thesis (unless it's some kind of sociology thesis on Wikipedia itself)

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (1)

ziggyzig (944029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439059)

It's not the fact that these Chinese students are using Wiki as a source, but more an issue because the Chinese government is banning access to information that they do not find aggreable.

Re:Wikipedia may not always be the best choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439168)

Wrong. If you're using a Wiki as a thesis source, then perhaps you haven't been taught the proper way to approach research. China has already had problems with students faking GRE scores and coming over to the US. I've seen 2 instances where the person interviewed on the phone and the person who showed up for the postdoc position were not the same person.

Must be pretty bad off in China.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438786)

if you are using Wikipedia as a sole source of information.

our professor wont even let us cite it in college. he makes us use a crummy encyclopedia that isn't checked for accuracy like Wikipedia is such as Britanica.

Re:Must be pretty bad off in China.. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439018)

if you are using Wikipedia as a sole source of information. our professor wont even let us cite it in college. he makes us use a crummy encyclopedia that isn't checked for accuracy like Wikipedia is such as Britanica.

Does your school offer any English language classes such as introductory grammar and spelling?

Re:Must be pretty bad off in China.. (1)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439069)

Just think, people like him could be contributing stuff to Wikipedia *this very moment*.

Re:Must be pretty bad off in China.. (2, Interesting)

LionMage (318500) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439091)

he makes us use a crummy encyclopedia that isn't checked for accuracy like Wikipedia is such as Britanica.

Are you serious?

First of all, I can't imagine a college professor letting you get away with citing an encyclopedia at all. The whole point of doing college assignments is learning to use primary sources of information. This isn't high school!

Secondly, Britannica has much better fact checking than Wikipedia. The fact that some Wikipedia articles have glaring errors that don't get caught and corrected for months at a stretch is bad; some of these errors are the result of intentional vandalism, and unless you've been living under a rock the last few months, you're no doubt aware that some of this vandalism is in fact libel. I'd link to the Slashdot coverage of the most famous of these events, but it looks like you need a refresher course in doing basic research...

Don't assume that just because Wikipedia is being scanned by a bunch of eyeballs every day, that Wikipedia must automatically be better fact-checked. Not every reader of Wikipedia is an expert, so not every reader is qualified to make revisions or write authoritatively on the "facts" presented. Furthermore, not all articles on Wikipedia are checked equally; the more popular articles get more eyeballs than the obscure articles.

Re:Must be pretty bad off in China.. (1)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439118)

He makes us use a crummy encyclopedia that isn't checked for accuracy like Wikipedia is; such as Britanica

Yeah, that's why they refer to it as "Canonical". ;)

I am surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438787)

Not by the ban, but that in fact some people cannot do their thesis? Is so much information actually valid and only on wikipedia, that they cannot do their thesis work?

Re:I am surprised (1)

muyuubyou (621373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438855)

They could also do some research on HTTP proxies.

Re:I am surprised (1)

craigob (944023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438982)

That's a nice thought. Too bad someone who does that in China is subject to going to prison if caught. The U.S. government isn't too far behind if we keep letting it get away with assuming more power.

Sorry, but using wiki for research is like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438789)

using an Encyclopedia. There was a reason they stopped letting you use them after the 6th grade.

but does... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438790)

china have the ability to ban FP?

(first post nigger!)

HONKY FAILS IT...... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438857)


 

They're just mad (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438791)

That wikipedia blamed John Seigenthaler for the Tiananmen Square conspiracy.

what will they do!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438794)

Its hard to plagiarize when you can't find someone else's work to steal.

What is this, fourth grade? (-1, Troll)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438800)

I'm outraged with the rest (Gee, it's certainly a shame we declined to hand the Internet over to these people!) but what the hell kind of "thesis" grinds to a halt without Wikipedia? These "intellectuals" sound like my elementary school classmates when a necessary volume of the encyclopedia was missing from the shelf.

Re:What is this, fourth grade? (1)

jmnormand (941909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438878)

perhaps wiki was part of the subject and not the sources?

Re:What is this, fourth grade? (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439057)

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Re:What is this, fourth grade? (1)

MrTester (860336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438927)

Unless, of course, their thesis is on the unreliability of Wikipedia....

Haven't they heard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438801)

that you're not supposed to use wikipedia for "real research"(tm)?

Re:Haven't they heard... (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438937)

that you're not supposed to use wikipedia for "real research"(tm)?

yes, but wikipedia is often a very handy springboard. well-written articles are essays in of themselves, and thus have several referenced sources, ranging from books, to published scientific studies available on the web, and such studies are often very difficult to find using normal search methods (Google, for example), as they're buried deep in various databases, and sometimes aren't indexed by Google due to the robots.txt being configured to prevent that.

and also, even if the study is in the results, the whole "sifting through the crap" in a web search makes it further problematic.

Re:Haven't they heard... (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439132)

I think you're confusing their policy on not putting "original research" into Wikipedia.

Like, for example, I edit the article on Meat to add "My Uncle Billy says eating pork makes you smart."

"Research" on Wikipedia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438805)

Surely you mean "reference." People actually use Wikipedia as a primary source?

If this guy's thesis depends on Wikipedia... (4, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438808)

then one has to question the quality of Chinese degrees.

Re:If this guy's thesis depends on Wikipedia... (1)

rellix (888535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439175)

Let's just say he wouldn't exactly pass with flying colors. I'm sure not *every* degree seeking student uses wikipedia.

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438815)

"Others said the blocking of Wikipedia has been a major blow to their research projects and even to their prospects of passing civil-service exams. 'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked on another Chinese website."

how about use a real encyclopedia?

The nerve! (1)

DietCoke (139072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438879)

A real encyclopedia? What the hell are you thinking? That'd require getting off one's ass for 30 seconds.

Quality Graduates (1, Insightful)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438818)

Does that mean China is serious about competing with the world, thus imposing the ban to ensure quality graduates in the future?

And why... (0, Redundant)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438823)

...are they using Wikipedia for thesis work in the first place? Not that I agree with it being banned, but Wikipedia isn't exactly a "trusted" source anyway.

Research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438826)

Since when is Wikipedia a good source for research or a thesis?

Re:Research? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438929)

Indeed. Read [wikipedia.org] through the disclaimers sometime. I can see how Wikipedia could help with some types of research. It does usually provide references to real sources, but (*boggle*) government service exams? I use Wikipedia for checking out technologies, fads, people, expressions, etc, but I wouldn't ever rely on them as a credible source.

Can't do research? Don't use Wikipedia for it! (0, Redundant)

TwentyLeaguesUnderLa (900322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438829)

While banning Wikipedia is certainly a significant inconvenience, it shouldn't impact anyone's actual research... it's not the kind of source one would use in even an undergraduate thesis.

Quit Whining! (4, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438834)

They may have blocked wikipedia, but they still have the uncyclopedia [uncyclopedia.org] as a backup, so they should be good to go on their research- especially considering today's WotD [uncyclopedia.org] ;-)

"How can I do my thesis now?" (1, Redundant)

AxemRed (755470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438835)

Use a paper encyclopedia.

//Sorry, the quote made me laugh.

Hmm...context missing. (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438987)

True, but what if his thesis is about Wikipedia itself?

Re:Hmm...context missing. (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439029)

True, but what if his thesis is about Wikipedia itself?

Simple, just start a Revolution.

Re:"How can I do my thesis now?" (1)

Ibag (101144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439078)

The commend made me laugh too, but not because the answer is to use an encyclopedia. Encyclopedias might be useful for getting a quick summery of ideas related to a topic, perhaps to suggest directions for research, but it is an entirely innapropriate source for information for a thesis. Even if one ignores the fact that a thesis should be mostly new research, the resources one uses should be books, scholarly journals, primary sources, and the like. If a wikipedia article is useful for more than inspiration and a list of references, you are doing your thesis completely wrong.

That said, there are a lot of times when Wikipedia is both useful and convenient. Just, not when one is writing a thesis.

Thesis? (1)

Beetle B. (516615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438845)

"'How can I do my thesis now?'"

Journals?

0==000~~ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438846)

Me chinese, me play joke, me put pee pee in your coke.

Thesis project? (0, Redundant)

jonathonjones (844293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438853)

Are the Chinese really so starved for research material that Wikipedia would be an appropriate source for writing a thesis? Unless the thesis is about websites or the way information is processed online, or something similar (so that they are using Wikipedia as a paradigm), it just seems bizarre that Wikipedia would actually be used in this way. Maybe it is much worse over there than I had thought.

Major blow to research?? (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438864)

Wikipedia has been a major blow to their research projects...

Unless their researching social networking and open content systems that's really sad. I can't believe the content on Wikipedia should serve as a very significant source to any research other than to it's social influences. That would be like saying Britannica was a major source for a research project... that couldn't possibly be taken seriously.

It's certainly a blow to free speech. But if this hurts any unrelated research projects those projects should find much better sources anyway.

Hah! (-1, Redundant)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438873)

If Chinese "students and intellectuals" are relying on Wikipedia for information and research, I don't think the U.S. has much to worry about.

Other sources of research (3, Insightful)

khaledh (718303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438885)

How can I do my thesis now? a university student asked on another Chinese website.

How did all grad students complete their theses before the Wikipedia era? As a matter of fact, grads don't refer to encyclopedias when doing research. They refer more often to the literature (books, scientific journals, conference proceedings, etc.)

There's even sites dedicated to research literature. Try CiteSeer http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/ [psu.edu] , or even Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/ [google.com] .

Of coures Wikipedia can help a lot when you want to have a quick reference on subject matter, but there are also much more comprehensive avenues of research that can be used.

Chinese Encyclopedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438895)

This is a major loss. Have you ever tried to use a Chinese encyclopedia? It consists of 30,000 volumes, each with a single entry.

Does nyud.net:8090 work in china? (1)

Killer Instinct (851436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438906)

Just curious, but wouldnt it be simple to just use the nyud.net:8090 "trick" for viewing wikpedia? Or is that blocked in China as well?

Re:Does nyud.net:8090 work in china? (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439099)

Of course it works. The Chinese censors know nothing of these complicated "Interweb" tricks.

SMTP? (1)

JLennox (942693) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438945)

They'd be doing the world a favor by blocking access to anon. SMTP servers.

Do any of you understand the research process? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438974)

Wikipedia is a great source of information for research papers, specifically the Wikipedia citations. Wikipedia allows a broad overview of a subject, which is helpful in guiding the author, but overall its principle value is a collection of relevant, human-verified links, many of which lead to primary authorities on the subject matter.

I almost always head to Wikipedia before Google when doing research, for this reason. (I work in SEO, by the way)

American Left (0, Troll)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438978)

Saddam has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens. He has tried to invade other countries and attempted to extend his missle program to ICBM's. America frees the country, backed by a 99-0 vote in the senate, then the Left complains.

When another country simply rejects access to a website filled with unsubstantiated information, the Left is up in arms demanding action.

The hypocracy of the radical left in this country is truely amazing.

Re:American Left (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439012)

The word you're looking for is "hypocrisy".

Re:American Left (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439053)

I really hope you have your flame-suit on with this. By the way, I completely agree with you.

You're correct of course (3, Insightful)

flyinwhitey (928430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439117)

In cases like this there are always individuals that forget what's going on around them long enough to prove themselves idiots.

It always struck me as funny how often the same people bitching about American imperialism conveniently forget their previous arguments when it comes to the internet in China.

Sorry hypocrites, you can't have it both ways. China is a sovereign state, so while you may disagree, YOU have no right sticking your nose in their business, or spreading so-called "American values".

And you can thank the left for that particular argument, because I stole it straight from an anti-war in Iraq website.

Re:American Left (1)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439143)

Hypocracy, n. A lack of leadership. From Greek hypos (little) and kratein (to rule). Thus you seem to be saying that it is amazing the left is not in charge. I concur completely after how well Iraq went.

Imagine, if you will... (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14438979)

Every government official in China editing a Wikipedia entry - talk about re-writing history! Perhaps Wikipedia should be blocking China.

This is why free trade does not work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14438994)

The so called "free trade" theory that says we have to let in all the H1-B visas and illegal immigrants and that China can cherry pick whichever industries they want to is a failure for this reason. China and India and Mexico can force us into accepting their predatory pricing on labor and cheap goods, but we can't export the "New York Times" and "Fox News". Mexicans can buy houses in America but Americans can't buy beach front property in Mexico.

If China bans our products, I say we ban Chinese products.

Red China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439009)

Such a waste

In other news... (5, Funny)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439021)

"'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked on another Chinese website."

China's response was to block the 'other Chinese website' as well.

Nothing beats a gumshoe (2, Insightful)

dclydew (14163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439033)

There seems to be a common theme in cop and detective stories... young hero that wants to use the latest technology to solve crimes and an old grizzled cop that says something like "In the end, you only solve crimes by hitting the pavement and asking questions".

It seems that the advice could apply in many areas. The Internet and its features may be great tools... but in the end, if you're trying to honestly research something, nothing beats cracking some books and reading, comprehending and putting it all together. Wikipedia should not be a critical resource for anyone but blog commenters, and then only because speed and words that sound authoritative seem more in demand than facts.

lols (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439038)

"How do I do my thesis?" Uhhhhhh.. how about the traditional way?

Reverse the tables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439051)

Its time for wikipedia to ban china. See how they like some of their own medicine!

why not this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439070)

why can't they just use a american or canadian proxy and use it... a simple solution?

Wikipedia for Research??? (1)

Techguy666 (759128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439088)

"'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked on another Chinese website."

Gah! The Chinese government's ban of Wikipedia may force their students to research and experiment and think on their own. They may not realize it yet, but China may have just stumbled upon a way to save themselves from creating a North American-style population of instant-gratification seekers.

True, not having access to knowledge is probably worse than having too much knowledge, but Wikipedia is not an authoritative source and to treat it as such is dangerous. A university or high school paper may start with Wikipedia to gain ideas or a broad (if not completely vague or inaccurate) overview of a topic - but then primary sources or multiple peer-reviewed sources should be pulled in to develop the ideas.

Being stonewalled by a lack of a single resource speaks volumes about the student. Government censorship is a pain but it ought to develop more resourceful and creative researchers - or bright, highly sought-after, emigrants. If a student complains about being denied access to Wikipedia, not from an ethical/philosophical point of view but an egocentric one, I have no sympathy.

Lies are everywhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439109)

Wiki has been released on DVD already. And therefore should be available around the corner. Chinese Goverment just want to save bandwidth.

You americans should better care about (your) Guantanamo since it certainly supports anti-americanism. Or is critique about american concentration camps banned?

What I'd like know... (2, Insightful)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439126)

I already know the answer is money, but why do we continue to do business with China when we boycott Cuba and N. Korea? When was the last time Cuba made one of our planes crash and held it captive? When was the last time N. Korea did that? Why is it so important for Yahoo, Google, and MS to continue to kowtow to China? Do these companies have no ethics?

Why do people in the U.S. buy cheap American flags made in China?

The whole thing disgusts me, and it has nothing to do with left/right, democrats/republicans - they all love the open policy towards China.

What the hell?? (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439131)

If Wikipedia is a major resource to a student writing a thesis, their intellectual community has WAY bigger problems than mere freedom of speech on the Internet issues.

This is so ludicrous that methinks a Wikipedia advocate is trying to create a bit of artificial drama.

Internet censorship in mainland China (fix) (2, Interesting)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439136)

See the article on Internet censhorship in China [wikipedia.org] too. It's probably articles like this that have the Chinese Govt annoyed. However, I would agree with the article that by blocking off access they are pretty much ensuring that articles such as this will have a more western-oriented tilt. Of course, Wikipedia has a policy of NPOV [wikipedia.org] , which should allow both criticism and supporting viewpoints. If there's one thing I've learned about the Chinese govt from seeing how they handled SARS and the recent factory disaster, it's that this kind of transparency is something they cannot get to grips with.

Answers.com (1)

Equis (723653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439150)

Can't they use Answers.com [answers.com] or some other site to get the same Wikipedia goodness through different channels?

When they want it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439153)

Until the Chinese people are willing to die to gain the rights the we Americans have, they will not gain them. Period.
Not just a few, not 100K. A clear and unmistakable MAJORITY. And then, with that majority, they need to reform their government.

archive.org? (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14439160)

Why not use an anonymous proxy or archive.org?

Hyperbole and not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14439167)

"'How can I do my thesis now?' a university student asked"

Oh, please. Get off your butt and use the library. What kind of a thesis relies on Wikipedia, or any conventional paper encyclopedia, as a primary source of information? It might be useful for some background information, but not for the really important content in a decent thesis project (unless Wikipedia *is* the topic of the project ;-)).

On the other hand, yeah, the censorship of Wikipedia by China is silly and is impossible to justify on any rational grounds. It's a political move that demonstrates how much the Chinese leadership fears information about the real world.

If the Chinese leadership doesn't like what is said on Wikipedia, then Hu Jintao should sign up for an account and submit changes to it just like everyone else does :-)

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