[photopress:JimmyWales.jpg,full,alignright]This is refreshing: Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, who founded the popular online user-edited encyclopedia Wikipedia, has flatly announced that he will not censor his site for the sake of being unblocked in China. Wales said in an article in the South China Morning Post that he would not do as Google did (or Yahoo!) in February when it began to censor web searches from China:
“One of the things deeply important to me, and to the entire Wikipedia community, is that whatever we do to become accessible in China, it not be viewed as what Google has done in compromising censorship.
“If there are subtle changes to policy that we can make which are acceptable anyway because … we do it already in Germany or it’s about quality, then it’s fine.
“But it is not acceptable for us to do something to make sure the Chinese government authorises every edition of everything that comes out.”
Good news for free information in most of the world, bad news for those of us in China, as Wikipedia has been blocked on the mainland since October of last year. Other options include top Chinese web portal Baidu, which has its own Chinese-language wiki-style encyclopedia, Baike, whose entries are both growing rapidly and, apparently, politically acceptable, the yet to be closed Answers.com, which includes Wikipedia entries in full on its pages (though users cannot edit) or, if one really wants to stick it to the censors, simply accessing Wikipedia via one’s favorite proxy server.
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