China allows uncensored Wiki

Written by Brett Thomas

November 16, 2006 | 14:14

Tags: #wikipedia

Companies: #china

In an unprecedented (and rather quiet) event, Chinese citizens will find a lot more information at their fingertips now. Though the nation normally enjoys a very strict censorship over all forms of media, it appears some information is so useful that even the government won't fight against it anymore...Wikipedia is now uncensored.

The move comes after various political and consumer firestorms against companies like Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies opted to censor content rather than be denied the right to do business in China. Wikipedia had little to lose as far as "business," and so its founder Jim Wales refused to budge. Wikipedia stood defiant to China's demands, refusing to remove articles like the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Wiki's uncensoring could be marking a quiet turning point in the Chinese government's stance. Of course, it's hard to determine exactly what it means or for how long it will continue - Beijing denies that there is any censorship at all. And though Wikipedia is now uncensored, it is possible that it could be exploited instead. Due to the very user-submitted nature, sensitive subjects could be filled with propoganda, rather than just allowing the Chinese to have a voice.

Will this move be a blessing or a curse? Is the Chinese censorship stance truly breaking down, or creatively dealing with a threat? Tell us your thoughts in our forums.
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