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Wikipedia Won't Bow to Chinese Censors

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the taking-a-stand dept.

Censorship 504

truthsearch writes "Jimmy Wales has defied the Chinese government by refusing to bow to censorship of politically sensitive Wikipedia entries. He challenges other internet companies, including Google, to justify their claim that they could do more good than harm by co-operating with Beijing. Wikipedia has been banned from China since last October. Whereas Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo went into the country accepting some restrictions on their online content, Wales believes it must be all or nothing for Wikipedia. 'We occupy a position in the culture that I wish Google would take up, which is that we stand for the freedom for information.'"

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Defiance Versus Inability (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 8 years ago | (#16083348)

Wikipedia Won't Bow to Chinese Censors
You mean Wikipedia can't bow to Chinese censors.

Considering China's regulations [hrw.org] I don't think it'd be possible for Mr. Wales to accomplish censoring all of Wikipedia from what's on the list from China's Article 19 of censorship policy. This that China requires to be censored:
  1. violating the basic principles as they are confirmed in the Constitution;
  2. jeopardizing the security of the nation, divulging state secrets, subverting of the national regime or jeopardizing the integrity of the nation's unity;
  3. harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
  4. inciting hatred against peoples, racism against peoples, or disrupting the solidarity of peoples;
  5. disrupting national policies on religion, propagating evil cults and feudal superstitions;
  6. spreading rumors, disturbing social order, or disrupting social stability;
  7. spreading obscenity, pornography, gambling, violence, terror, or abetting the commission of a crime;
  8. insulting or defaming third parties, infringing on the legal rights and interests of third parties;
  9. inciting illegal assemblies, associations, marches, demonstrations, or gatherings that disturb social order;
  10. conducting activities in the name of an illegal civil organization; and
  11. any other content prohibited by law or rules.
That last one (#11) is my favorite. Kind of open ended, eh? Frankly, it'd be absurd to ask anyone to censor dynamically changing information such as a Wiki with those kinds of rules.

In other news all Chinese residents will see a new homepage for Wikipedia [hrw.org] . Just another reason why Tor should stay up and the recent news about it being used as a child pornography shield is terrible.

*All information in this post was gathered via irony [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Defiance Versus Inability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083574)

I don't see why this would be harder than censoring the *Google index of the Internet*. I suspect that censoring doesn't have to be perfect to be acceptable to China.

As if the US doesnt censor internet (2, Insightful)

ghoul (157158) | about 8 years ago | (#16083668)

The US government has censored Hezbollah websites by forcing the provider to shutdown the website. For the Chinese governement Falun Gong is a religious fundamentalist organization so they want to shut them down. However its human rights violation when China does it but "supporting our friends" when the US does it. Talk about double standards.

Re:As if the US doesnt censor internet (5, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | about 8 years ago | (#16083741)

Can you give a citation for that (the US censoring Hezbollah sites)? I'm not disbelieving; I just hadn't heard it.

As far as I'm aware the US doesn't usually force sites to shut down unless they're participating in something actively illegal (child porn, gambling). It's not uncommon for them to take down organizations by charging them with a crime, and that results in the removal of a web site, but I'm not aware of them merely ordering an ISP to remove a web site without also pressing charges against the organization or individual putting it up.

So if you can cite me some examples it would be appreciated.

Re:As if the US doesnt censor internet (2, Insightful)

mrogers (85392) | about 8 years ago | (#16083794)

I don't approve of the US government censoring Hezbollah websites, but you can't claim moral equivalence: how many people has Falun Gong killed? If the US government censored every website discussing or promoting Islam, you might have a point.

Re:Defiance Versus Inability (5, Insightful)

kenj0418 (230916) | about 8 years ago | (#16083807)

Since wikipedia's content is freely available, why can't they just copy it. Then the Ministry of Truth (whatever it happens to be called) can change as they will.

Hasn't Google already justified it? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083352)

They simply believe that access to some information is better than access to no information. It's as if you had a choice between eating crap for the rest of your life, or eating nothing. Some people would choose to eat crap and maybe live a while, while others might choose to eat nothing and starve to death.

Then Google need to google. (2, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | about 8 years ago | (#16083498)

They need to google "False Dilemma"

Re:Then Google need to google. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083605)

Google's search led me to Wikipedia, but since I'm in China, I can't read it.

Re:Then Google need to google. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083780)

Why yes. I'm sure google and wikipedia could just team up to topple the Chinese government and replace it with a liberal democracy just like *that*.

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (5, Insightful)

Funkcikle (630170) | about 8 years ago | (#16083529)

China is market for companies like Google and Yahoo. Wikipedia has no revenue-chasing to be doing by getting out to the largest number of people possible. Wales' stance would, I imagine, be rather different if each Wikipedia page had income-generating adverts dependent on page views and click-throughs.

How wonderful it is to act nobly when one has not simply nothing to lose but actually nothing to gain.

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083540)

You would actually rather eat crap than nothing?

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083615)

He's American, what do you expect? They eat crap everyday. They even export it to the rest of the world. It's called McDonalds.

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (1)

Yokaze (70883) | about 8 years ago | (#16083686)

The difference is Google is not the only search engine. It isn't even the market leader in China. At least, before you could be sure, when you where able to circumvent the Great Firewall of China, (which I've heard from Chinese students is not all that complicated) that you had unrestricted access to the internet.

But now? What results returns Google, when it encounters a Chinese IP?

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (1)

mdielmann (514750) | about 8 years ago | (#16083689)

Some people would choose to eat crap and maybe live a while, while others might choose to eat nothing and starve to death.

It's pretty clear that in North America, most people would opt to eat crap. And it shows.

Censored information is the worst information.Acce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083753)

Access to censored information may be seen as worse than access to no information. At least when you're getting no information, you're not being mislead. However, the very act of censorship is done to mislead the reader. It's to provide the consumer with information, but the information is crafted in such a way as to promote a certain viewpoint, reaction, or misunderstanding.

Suppose there were a situation like this:
Person A was told nothing about Linux.
Person B was able to gather information about Linux from multiple, independent sources.
Person C was given a summary about Linux, written by Microsoft.

I think we can agree that Person B is the best off. They have the most widespread knowledge, gathered from what may be a large number of sources. Person C knows about Linux, but they have likely been presented a biased and twisted idea of what it is. Person A knows nothing about Linux, but at least they haven't been fed misinformation, or at best information that is omitting necessary details.

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (0)

misleb (129952) | about 8 years ago | (#16083788)

Except that access to Google isn't a life/death situation. I say block Google altogether instead of censoring it. At least if it is blocked completely, people will be more aware what their government is doing. If you just silently filter it, you are more easily fooled into thinking you are getting everything you want/need from the service. It is much more insidious that way.

-matthew

Re:Hasn't Google already justified it? (1)

paranode (671698) | about 8 years ago | (#16083802)

Google is merely a search engine, where as Wikipedia is expected to be held to some kind of standard for factual accuracy. The idea of the Chinese government modifying and censoring the information on Wikipedia is antithetical to what encyclopedias are for. They don't want to perpetuate falsified or strategically-omitted information.

Business or Foundation (5, Insightful)

JimZim (917146) | about 8 years ago | (#16083355)

The companies named are businesses which by definition are in it for profit. Wikipedia, as a foundation has the luxury of standing for a good cause without having to explain it to its shareholders.

Re:Business or Foundation (1)

Wingchild (212447) | about 8 years ago | (#16083437)

That does not in any way make their position less heroic.

Salute.

what? of course it does. (5, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16083492)

It's easy to be heroic when you have nothing to lose. It's like instead of rescuing the princess from a fire-breathing dragon, Jimmy is rescuing her from a field mouse.

I mean, yes, it's the right thing to do to rescue princesses, but lets not be throwing the word 'heroic' around for no good reason.

Re:what? of course it does. (2, Funny)

Jabrwock (985861) | about 8 years ago | (#16083786)

It's easy to be heroic when you have nothing to lose. It's like instead of rescuing the princess from a fire-breathing dragon, Jimmy is rescuing her from a field mouse.

While in the other valley, Tommy tells the dragon where the knight is hiding out, and tells the princess he had no choice, it was the only way to be able to access the dragons's hoard... er I mean to slowly convince the dragon of the error of his ways...

Re:Business or Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083482)

It's only a "luxury" so far as you depend upon an amount of income to survive.

In the same sense, you could say it's a "luxury" for a corporation not to hire death squads for its third-world subsidiaries -- because not hiring them would reduce their profits. Nonetheless, I doubt many people find that a reasonable term to use. It implies that the corporation somehow needs to hire the death squads. In this situation, you're implying they need the additional income from operating in China.

The only way it could be considered a luxury is if their stockholders truly have the ability to destroy the company, should the company not bow to the censorship. I sincerely doubt this is the case, but if it is, we have much more fundamental problems to address in our legal system.

Re:Business or Foundation (3, Insightful)

ROU Nuisance Value (253171) | about 8 years ago | (#16083526)

I guess I must have missed the day in Management 101 where they taught us that all profit-making shareholder-owned businesses, by definition, MUST support evil in every way, and refrain from doing anything principled, public-spirited, or courageous, under penalty of total loss of shareholder confidence.

You know, I'm a leftist, and I have a better impression of capitalism than most of the Reagan-era "libertarian" idiots here.

Re:Business or Foundation (1)

jrockway (229604) | about 8 years ago | (#16083600)

> I guess I must have missed the day in Management 101

That was the first day. Due to cost-cutting, we forgot to send you a schedule. Terribly sorry.

Re:Business or Foundation (1)

Forge (2456) | about 8 years ago | (#16083528)

Thank you very much for so clearly and concisely explaining the different positions.

Fact is, As an individual, or a charitable organisation, I can decide not to go there because I do not approve of censorship etc...

However a business can't just ignore 1.3 Million potential consumers. Not when it tells it's shareholders that it is on a global growth trajectory.

Re:Business or Foundation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083720)

Or even 1.3 Billion of them.

Re:Business or Foundation (3, Insightful)

Mydron (456525) | about 8 years ago | (#16083536)

a foundation has the luxury of standing for a good cause without having to explain it to its shareholders
Please stop perpetuating the myth that corporations are inherently amoral because their shareholders demand nothing less. This is a cop-out that some corporations would like you to believe because it gives them cart blanche to do whatever they want. But it is a dichotomy with no basis in reality. I challenge you to provide an example where shareholders have sued a corporation because the corporation made a [positive] ethical choice.

The reality is that shareholders only sue corporations when managers do something egregiously bad or fraudulent. The managers of a corporation make decisions all the time, some of them good and some of them bad, if you're a shareholder and you don't like what the corporation is doing you can sell and invest in some other corporation -- that's the whole point of a public company! It would be trivial for Google to justify not providing filtered results in China as a show of good will that engenders brand loyalty among the rest of its users. Arguably this is very reasonable since, as I understand it, Google is not very popular in China anyway.

Re:Business or Foundation (5, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | about 8 years ago | (#16083857)

A lawsuit isn't the only way that shareholders have to express displeasure with corporate management. The easier and often more effective route is to simply sell the shares, depressing the price.

While I can't cite an example of a shareholder suing management for fiscal malpractice for doing something ethical, there are examples of companies whose share prices are depressed because of the effects of them behaving ethically.

One example I can cite off the top of my head is Ben and Jerry's, who couldn't find a competent CEO because of their ethical decision to pay nobody more than seven times the price of their lowest-paid employee. In the end they had to abandon their ethical principles to hire competent management, and their stock price went up because of it.

Good. (2, Informative)

r0bVious (923965) | about 8 years ago | (#16083363)

There ARE some things are more important than money.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083468)

Dude, open another account. You are stuck in "-1" /. hell.

/. folks, look at r0bVious [slashdot.org] posting history - here's a perfect example of:

1. the "Funny" modifier being phony.

2. And the dangers of censorship.

V

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083835)

...like a good education that teaches you to not forget words in the middle of a sentence.

Why? (5, Funny)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 8 years ago | (#16083370)

Why would China ban Wikipedia... When they can just edit it?

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 8 years ago | (#16083394)

There are many pages protected in Chinese wikipedia.

Re:Why? (1)

chemisus (920383) | about 8 years ago | (#16083747)

Such as the one that states that the population of china has increased 3x in the past 6 months?

Re:Why? (1)

ROU Nuisance Value (253171) | about 8 years ago | (#16083474)

Duh, because individuals can just go back in and re-edit whatever lies the government shills put in.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

king-manic (409855) | about 8 years ago | (#16083496)

Why would China ban Wikipedia... When they can just edit it?

# of employees in Chinese censorship office
1,500

# of chinese nationals who want to correct the offficial bullshit
~100,000+

# of non nationals wanting to correct the official bullshit

~1-2 million

clearly even with cheap labor they couldn't compete. So they banned it.

There are 5 billion people educated by their gov. (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 8 years ago | (#16083643)

There are 5 billion people educated by their governments out there in our world, and they just hate what their government hate and love what their government love. Including 1 billion Chinese speaking Chinese.

The Irony Here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083374)

The irony here is that the Guardian is blocked by my work!

Re:The Irony Here... (1)

legoburner (702695) | about 8 years ago | (#16083847)

Must be the Guardian report on the parking lot massacre at your office. They like to keep that censored as much as possible. Power to the people!

That's a great belief, but... (2, Insightful)

nelomolen (128271) | about 8 years ago | (#16083379)

Those folk in China are really experiencing the gift of freedom of information right now, aren't they? We're so uptight about upholding an ideal that they get *nothing*.

I'd sure call that freedom of information!

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

richdun (672214) | about 8 years ago | (#16083414)

Which is worse - no information, or bad information? No access on the basis of principle, or some access based on relaxing that principle? If you're going to take a stand, do it. If you're not, don't act you're half standing/half sitting.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16083519)

If you're searching for information on, for instance, how to avoid cholera, would you rather have:

(a) something that would help you find this information but hides information about your governments human rights abuses or
(b) no help

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 8 years ago | (#16083628)

If you're [trying to break an addiction to], for instance, [crack], would you rather have:

(a) something that [dispenses some low-grade crack] or
(b) no [crack]

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16083676)

That's a cute attempt at analogy, but it doesn't work. People sometimes need information more than they need complete freedom.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

nelomolen (128271) | about 8 years ago | (#16083533)

That's a loaded question. You're making the immediate assumption that, in order to have any information, it must be bad/tampered with. That's simply not true. Explain to me how a non-politically charged article about an animal, a geographical location, etc. would be 'bad' information simply on the basis that the articles that were deemed politically charged may have been tampered with or removed?

Why not just stand firm to objectively presenting acceptable/non-questionable content?

It is a tough call, but China does not consider it a loss if they don't have access to an externally provided service. China as a political entity cares as little about Wikipedia as they do about Encyclopaedia Britannica - it's just another external entity that does not 'get' their country and their choices.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (3, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | about 8 years ago | (#16083530)

Those folk in China are really experiencing the gift of freedom of information right now, aren't they? We're so uptight about upholding an ideal that they get *nothing*.

And hopefully that *nothing* will help to spur social change for the Chinese, rather than putting a bandage over the problem by allowing censored content.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16083595)

I find that argument pretty weak.

Firstly, you'd have to have a broad coalition for this to work. You're talking about MSN, Google and Yahoo all agreeing on something. Good luck with that.

Secondly, it's not like search utilities are some magical things that no one understands. Even if item 1 comes to pass, there's still all the homegrown search sites lieke baidu (sp?).

Thirdly, if you honestly think that it's lack of a really good search engine that'll be the last straw that incites the Chinese to rise up and revolt, I don't even know what to say. Get outside more, I guess, would be a start.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (2, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | about 8 years ago | (#16083760)

Thirdly, if you honestly think that it's lack of a really good search engine that'll be the last straw that incites the Chinese to rise up and revolt, I don't even know what to say. Get outside more, I guess, would be a start.

Your points may all be true, but it doesn't make it right to help a government censor information.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (1)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16083866)

I'll just refer you to the nintey hojillion 'would you rather have some google or no google' posts.

Re:That's a great belief, but... (2, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | about 8 years ago | (#16083601)

Huh?

Wikipedia does NOT block access to Chinese users.

China's government blocks access to Wikipedia. I would not be surprised if China's government blocked access to Slashdot.

Does that mean Cmdr Taco should prevent posts from people who are commie bashing? I think not.

Bravo... if it holds up. (4, Insightful)

Captain Sarcastic (109765) | about 8 years ago | (#16083388)

I'm willing to stand up and cheer reservedly for Wikipedia if this continues.

My only concern is that, once Wikipedia makes its stand, the Chinese government decides that, well, yes, in the interest of freedom of the Internet, it will let Wikipedia continue to operate - and then start "correcting" Wikipedia's entries to the point of anything that disagrees with "official" truth is useless.

Re:Bravo... if it holds up. (1)

interiot (50685) | about 8 years ago | (#16083554)

Well, it's generally against Wikipedia's core policies to let articles be whitewashed. Any editor who routinely tries to whitewash an article gets blocked, and anybody else is within policy to restore the pre-whitewashing information. So it wouldn't really matter.

Re:Bravo... if it holds up. (2, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 8 years ago | (#16083585)

The reality is after Beijing government ban zh.wikipedia.org, the zh.wikipedia.org has become a playground of anti-Beijing activists. NPOV has been damaged greatly since then. The Beijing government definitely shoot his own foot on this move.

taking a stand? *chuckle* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083392)

Man, he must be leaving *billions* in potential revenue on the table for this. His shareholders are gonna be so pissed. I can't imagine why Microsoft, Yahoo, or Google don't do the same thing. His testicles must be ENORMOUS.

Re:taking a stand? *chuckle* (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | about 8 years ago | (#16083665)

Your post is best when imagined with the voice of Steve Irwin. Especially that last line.

One big difference between wikipedia and others... (5, Insightful)

whyrat (936411) | about 8 years ago | (#16083403)

Wikipedia is non-profit, where the others (Google, Yahoo, etc) are profit seeking organizations (at least, they're listed on market exchanges).

So while wikipedia can take the high ground and just not exist in China, for-profit companies have to justify this to their shareholders. If you were invested in Google and heard they decided not to expand into the large & growing market of China... well you can see how one could begin to question if the company's leadership had the shareholder's interests in mind.

Re:One big difference between wikipedia and others (2, Interesting)

acvh (120205) | about 8 years ago | (#16083567)

What if I'm invested in Google and I hear that they decided not to expand into cultivating opium poppies in Afghanistan? How much money am I losing by their decision not to produce heroin? Can I sue?

There is no requirement that a public corporation must do anything it can to maximize its profit. I cringe every time I see this argument used here.

Re:One big difference between wikipedia and others (1)

captainjaroslav (893479) | about 8 years ago | (#16083864)

I second this. Isn't it sad that basic ethical stances require justification, not based on whether they are truly ethical, but instead based on whether ethics are truly good for business? All hail the free market!

Re:One big difference between wikipedia and others (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083815)

On the contrary, if I see that a company with my investments is aiding government censorship, I'll withdraw those investments.

"for-profit companies have to justify this to their shareholders"

I think what you're really saying is that for-profit companies, in order to gain the maximum potential investment from the most sociopathic investors (who may very well be those with the most money to invest on average), must engage in sociopathic acts to increase stock value. This may be true, but it's far from a justification -- if anything, it's a Machiavellian rationalization.

Re:One big difference between wikipedia and others (1)

floppydiskparty (955020) | about 8 years ago | (#16083842)

When then Google should drop the "Don't be Evil" motto if they are not in the position to do so.

Information repository vrs information search tool (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083405)

While I don't like the fact that places like Google and Yahoo allow censorship, I do understand the reasoning. Censorship by default is hard to do on the internet. There is always information popping up in new places, and it takes time to find, review and finally censor it. So by providing the Chinese ppl w/ access to a good search tool, they can use their ingenuity to find the information they want. It also would be unfair for them not to have access to simple, non-controversial material that they benefit from, and which they would have a difficult time finding w/o a good search engine.

However, Wikipedia is more than a tool for finding information. It IS information, and one of it's highest goals needs to be accuracy. (let's not debate accuracy vs. Wiki's here tho)

If they were to censor information that is valid... well it would be incredibly wrong. You can't have just a 'little' bit of censorship of information in an encyclopedia, it violates the whole spirit of the thing.

So Says the Charitable Foundation to the Business. (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | about 8 years ago | (#16083412)

Its real easy for a charitable organization such as Wikipedia to dictate moral terms to a money making business like Google.

Now does anyone have any rational suggestions?

Re:So Says the Charitable Foundation (1)

kahei (466208) | about 8 years ago | (#16083471)

Its real easy for a charitable organization such as Wikipedia to dictate moral terms to a money making business like Google.

Now does anyone have any rational suggestions?


Hmm... more charitable organizations, less reliance on money making businesses? Especially where free exchange of information is the goal?

Re:So Says the Charitable Foundation to the Busine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083693)

Yes it is. I noticed the catholics did not speak up in a past time, when IBM and Dow were making all sorts of money during another immoral act. Of course, now, we have Halliburton, ch2mhill and other profits making all sorts of money while a number of non-profits esp the catholics look the other way on new, but same old, immoral acts.

So I went to a seminar on doing business in China (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083419)

Someone asked about patent law. Apparently, the Chinese only recognizes patents that have been filed in China. And it's first to file. And they only recognize patents from other contries for universally known entities like Mickey Mouse, although Mickey Mouse gets pirated like crazy.

New mod system for Chinese Wikipedia (1)

matt me (850665) | about 8 years ago | (#16083427)

"Everything that Mao Zedong says is the truth; every statement he utters is worth 10,000 sentences."
Rate: Double-plus-good.

Big deal? I'm not bowing to China because... (0, Flamebait)

csoto (220540) | about 8 years ago | (#16083432)

I'm not doing anything whatsoever. How is this news? Wikipedia is business as usual, yet somehow this is "standing up to the Chinese." Wales is a ridiculous narcissist.

Rewrite History (4, Funny)

raftpeople (844215) | about 8 years ago | (#16083441)

With over 1 billion people, if every chinese did their part, there's no way the rest of the world could keep up with their entries into Wikipedia.

No matter how much the wind blows... (0, Offtopic)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 8 years ago | (#16083447)

...the mountain cannot bow to it.

(sorry, I have a 4 year old. These damned disney films just burrow into your mind even after a few partial viewings)

Quis cusodiet ipsos custodes? (4, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | about 8 years ago | (#16083452)

I never expected to live in a world where librarians and encyclopedists are the guardians of civil liberties.

Re:Quis cusodiet ipsos custodes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083513)

Not an Asimov/Foundation fan, I see . . .

Re:Quis cusodiet ipsos custodes? (1)

Ours (596171) | about 8 years ago | (#16083837)

Knowledge brings freedom so it makes sence that those who give us access to endless information, give access to our own freedom.

google still does? (2, Interesting)

tritonman (998572) | about 8 years ago | (#16083462)

I remember reading an article where google decided to stop bowing down to the censorship. Was that in a dream? I thought they already stopped working with the chinese government.

Easy to do when not a public company (2, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | about 8 years ago | (#16083478)

It's much easier for Wikipedia to take the high moral road when they are donation driven as opposed to a public profit driven company. Perhaps it is even necessary to keep their image clean. China is one of the fastest (is it the fastest?) growing economies in the world. It has a staggering population of would-be customers. For them to take the high road and refuse to do business there would probably not go over well with investors--especially when their competition is entering the market there.

Hmmm (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | about 8 years ago | (#16083483)

I think the original article is more of an editorial piece than a news article, as I doubt the Chinese government would be hassling WikiMedia to make Wikipedia available to China but censored, I'd imagined after they were first banned he made these statements and nothing has changed since. What is definitely interesting is the growing suggestions from Wales is that advertising could be coming to some wikipedia pages which would definitely change it from a service to a business and I wonder how quick they would be to welcome to the droves of Chinese traffic they can monetise after that, or whether they would continue to stand their ground in the face of losing revenue.

I some areas, Wiki is usurping Google. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083486)

I've found myself typing wiki $WHAT_I_SEEK quite a bit lately. Of course Wiki isn't a general internet search engine, but most articles have link sections, and those links are often best-in-class links that lead me to what I really want. I've started to wonder if generalized, algorithm-based internet searching is really all that useful. Don't get me wrong. Google is still best-in-class for things like image search, and some of their services are really cool. It's just that they're not invulnerable, and reading news like this really warms my heart even more to Wiki. Way to go, guys!

He'll be (3, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 8 years ago | (#16083491)

First against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:He'll be (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 8 years ago | (#16083551)

In all seriousness, I'm wondering if it is even safe for Mr. Wales to enter China at this point. I'd imagine there are a number of foreign nationals who would suddenly disappear upon landing in China, given the stance they have taken against the policies of the government there.

Chinapedia (2, Interesting)

yoda-dono (972385) | about 8 years ago | (#16083493)

I wonder if a bit of encyclopedia competition in the Chinese market would make Jimmy agree with Google's compromise... If Google ducked out of China completely, and M$ and Yahoo! did not, then billions of Chinese people would be lost by Google to their less-idealistic (or moral) competitors.

Lets see how much he'd like a Chinapedia...

let's see if we can get slashdot added (1)

ohzero (525786) | about 8 years ago | (#16083510)

to the ban list in china. The chinese government killed alot of people in Tiananmen square, and it was wrong. Also, they suck. There. I've done my civic duty.

Apple bows too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083523)

Apple never ran their "think different" ad with the Dali Lama in China.
I guess they bow to high and mighty over there, too

Pretty simple there Jimbo (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 8 years ago | (#16083558)

He challenges other internet companies, including Google, to justify their claim that they could do more good than harm by co-operating with Beijing. Wikipedia has been banned from China since last October

Yeah, I think the second sentence pretty much gives him the answer to the question in the first.

What is the issue? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083570)

It really irritates me how people in america impose their values on people in other countries. Believe it or not, our system may not be best for China. Just as there is no best parenting style there is no best method of government. I have been to China and they all seemed really happy living in the society THEY have created for THEMSELVES. Do you really think that China would be happier in a society WE create for them?

Re:What is the issue? (0, Flamebait)

stevesliva (648202) | about 8 years ago | (#16083648)

It really irritates me how people in america impose their values on people in other countries.
It is true that if you think freedom of speech is an imposition, you don't deserve it. So shut the fuck up.

Re:What is the issue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083737)

Sort of like how the conquering Romans and Spaniards felt about their absolutist views of Christianity..

Human rule (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083573)

The rule is *very* simple:

none can walk into your home and dictate. Period.

Ah, but Mr. Wales is american, so no news here... (saddened)

Which one of those two (Google and Wiki) is a... (1, Redundant)

Assmasher (456699) | about 8 years ago | (#16083597)

...publically traded company? ;)

It's easy to take the moral high road when you're not responsible for anything or anyone.

Re:Which one of those two (Google and Wiki) is a.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16083707)

It's easy to take the cash when your principles are nothing more than lip service.

Wikipedia's goal is not to earn money (1)

kezze (644765) | about 8 years ago | (#16083599)

Wikipedia's main goal is, unlike companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, not to earn money. I am certainly against any kind of censorship, but I see why Google, Microsoft and Yahoo accept it: They are capitalistic companies, Wikipedia is not.

No information == Freedom of information (1)

pembo13 (770295) | about 8 years ago | (#16083631)

So do the wikipedia guys equate no information with freedom of information?

*Giggle (3, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | about 8 years ago | (#16083663)

In the article, he says he doesn't know why China would block Wikipedia, given their position on neutrality.

I'm not if he's being intentionally dense, or if he honestly belives that the Chinese government is interested in neutrality.

If so, I'd ask Mr. Wales to compare the following three links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiananmen_Square_prot ests_of_1989 [wikipedia.org]
http://www.google.cn/search?hl=zh-CN&ie=UTF-8&inla ng=zh-CN&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=T iananmen+Square&spell=1 [google.cn]
http://www.google.com/search?q=Tiananmen+Square&ie =UTF-8&oe=UTF-8 [google.com]

Just a thought...

Flip It (3, Insightful)

Baby Duck (176251) | about 8 years ago | (#16083667)

For all this talk of shareholders shying away from a company refusing business opportunities, and therefore it's "easy" for a non-profit to take the higher moral ground ...

Donaters shy away from a non-profit that DOESN'T take the higher moral ground.

strive for modernity (1)

cifey (583942) | about 8 years ago | (#16083699)

The modern nations are producing millions of wiki entries every year.
It might be a good Idea to start the worker comunes on producing wiki entries 24/7 to compete.
Surely this is the key to modernity.

Yay! (1)

misleb (129952) | about 8 years ago | (#16083704)

Let's here it for community driven public endevours which are not bound by the necessity to make money. Corporations almost have to give in to censorship if the want to make money. Take money out of the equation and freedom wins.

Classic type 13 planet? (0, Offtopic)

Fishstick (150821) | about 8 years ago | (#16083755)

yeah, and they thought the Manhattan project's test at Trinity might spark a chain reaction consuming the entire planet.

Reminds me of the episode on Lexx where "type 13" planets invariably destroyed themselves while attempting to determine the mass of Higgs boson particle (the experiment inadvertently results in the planet being collapsed into a pea-sized object).

The Wikipedia approach VS. Microsoft/Google (4, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | about 8 years ago | (#16083783)

(disclaimer - I am singling out the Microsoft/Google approach to China, it is in no way intended to represent the overall efforts of American businesses in China, especially the loathsome actions of Cisco and Yahoo.)

The problem here is that Wikipedia's approach accomplishes nothing - although neither does it compromise the organization's stated principles. Microsoft and Google's approach of censoring on request has still created a raging torrent of information within, into, and out of China, one that the Chinese government can only barely police. Wikipedia's outdated reactionary protest model will not coax China to change anything, after all, China has the resources to churn out competing products with ease. Microsoft and Google are showing China the rest of the world, and giving Chinese dissidents great, albeit limited, tools for proactively attacking totalitarianism.

Actual Policy in China (2, Interesting)

ziggyzig (944029) | about 8 years ago | (#16083791)

I was in China 2 months ago and was able to search for Tianamen Square and access google.com (US Version) without any problems. Anyone in China that can attest that the censorship policies actually work?

Sensorship (1)

certel (849946) | about 8 years ago | (#16083861)

I see our freedom's fading and will continue to fade until everyone is less paranoid about the world.
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