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China unblocks Wikipedia

Just don't mention June 4
Fri Nov 17 2006, 07:12
WHILE MANY are hailing Wikipedia's reintroduction into China as a victory of the web over Internet censors, they clearly have not noticed that the online encyclopaedia has deleted an important date in history.

According to Reuters, Media pressure group Reporters Without Borders is apparently ecstatic that the Chinese authorities have allowed Wikipedia to run behind the bamboo curtain. It is an example, it says, of what you can do if you refuse to give into Internet censorship.

However in its rush to praise Jimmy Wales for his staring down the Chinese dragon it has not noticed that there is an important date missing from the Chinese version of Wikipedia.

June 4, which is the day the first solar eclipse was recorded in China, Tokugawa Ieyasu took the Osaka Castle in Japan, Emily Davison, ran out in front of the king's horse at the Epsom Derby and is the feast day of Saint Petrock of Cornwall, has been erased from history.

That is because on that day, in 1989, a Chinese army with tanks rolled over the top of some fairly peaceful, but embarrassing, student protesting in Tiananmen Square.

It seems that instead of banning the whole site, the Chinese worked out a way of just banning pages it does not like. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson trotted out the same old line that China only removed illegal content from the web "the same as every where else in the world".

Wikipedia on the other hand just ruthlessly censors the Everywhere Girl on the whims of people interested in pseudo penises. More here. µ


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