I’ve been caught sleeping. The Chinese blogsphere is abuzz with the news that the flagship to Web 2.0, Wikipedia, is now unblocked in China. (see references below)
After almost precisely a year of having to access the site through proxy services (or the secure.wikimedia.org version of the site), all us in China are able to access the site.
No one seems clear on why the Internet Aiyi has finally allowed us much welcomed access to the site, but clicking on a link to the user-editable encyclopedia’s 中文 version of the site tells volumes. The Chinese Wikipedia is still there, and still blocked.
This site, of course, is what got respective red gitches in a bunch in the first place. Despite the Chinese Wikipedia reportedly being quite an even-handed balance between nationalistic and realistic edumacation, it was obviously seen as a threat to social stability in that it gives common people access to sometimes uncommon information, in a language they can understand.
Though us English-reading residents of The Zhong are likely to celebrate the reopening of these precious gates, I can’t help but feel that the whole situation is a bit similar to Google selling out. Now that the main site is unblocked, people can quickly forget that there is still censorship going on in this pinnacle of modern information.
With the Chinese site treated like a forgotten bastard son, it’s no wonder that the ‘more inclined to play by the rules’ Chinese search giant Baidu’s Baike Collaborative Encyclopedia now features more articles than the Chinese Wikipedia – devoid, naturally, of any mention of ‘sensitive’ material – and by ‘sensitive’ I mean, I’ve deleted the very terms because I couldn’t access my site..
(they’re all entitled ‘Wikipedia Unblocked’)
ADDED Oct. 13th:
I’m not sure why, but I’ve been having trouble accessing my site since posting this yesterday. It may be ISP level blocking and combinations of some of the words in this post and the last’s quote regarding the Japan apologizing thing.
I’m messing with things to see if it helps. Let me know in the comments if you had to reach this site via proxy.