Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Because we wouldn't want our citizens to be able to learn now, would we?

China, in its infinite and unfallable wisdom, has re-blocked Wikipedia and unblocked, yet again, blogger. Apparently Beijing is worried that the open editing features of the online encylopedia will serve as a platform for pro-Democracy, anti-Communist, rants; thereby corrupting the masses and toppling the government in a tidal wave of mouse clicks.

I just use it to read about panda bears.

The Great Firewall of China seems to operate with no rhyme or reason whatsoever. The "blacklist" is controlled both by local districts and Beijing; a webpage can be banned because the local censor didn't like the font or because some bureaucrat says it is subversive. The very next week, the censor's son wants to start a blogger blog, so the censor removes it from the list.
The list of what is allowed and what isn't changes so quickly here that even CNN can't keep up. Last week they reported that Wikipedia had finally been unblocked in China, despite the fact it had been unblocked here for at least one month. Then, just one week after CNN reports it is unblocked and that China finally buckled under international pressure for free speech, it is blocked again.

I suppose if CNN had reported it one month earlier when I had actually happened, China would have just re-blocked it that much sooner.

Oh well... thankfully, Anonymouse allows me to still view Wikipedia. Did you know that the Giant Panda has one thumb and six fingers on each paw?