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US NewsChina blocks all language editions of Wikipedia

03:05  16 may  2019
03:05  16 may  2019 Source:   msn.com

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BEIJING: Beijing has broadened its block of online encyclopedia Wikipedia to include all language editions , reported an internet censorship research According to a report by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), China started blocking all language editions of Wikipedia last month.

People in China are no longer able to access any Wikipedia pages from within the country — with all language editions reportedly being blocked by the It appears that China has been blocking user access since April 22. “Measurements show that many of these Wikipedia domains were previously

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Beijing has broadened its block of online encyclopedia Wikipedia to include all language editions, reported an internet censorship research group, ahead of the country's most politically explosive anniversary.

According to a report by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), China started blocking all language editions of Wikipedia last month.

Previously, most editions of Wikipedia -- besides the Chinese language version, which was reportedly blocked in 2015 -- were available, OONI said in their report.

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Observers speculate the blockade may have something to do with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989.

Observers speculate the blockade may have something to do with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989.

AFP could not open any of Wikipedia's versions in China on Wednesday.

China blocks all language editions of Wikipedia © LIONEL BONAVENTURE According to a report by OONI, China started blocking all language editions of Wikipedia last month

"At the end of the day, the content that really matters is Chinese-language content," said Charlie Smith, the pseudonym of one of the co-founders of Greatfire.org, which tracks online censorship in China.

"Blocking access to all language versions of Wikipedia for internet users in China is just symbolic," he told AFP. "It symbolises the fear that the Chinese authorities have of the truth."

Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation that hosts Wikipedia, did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment.

China's online censorship apparatus -- dubbed the "Great Firewall" -- blocks a large number of foreign sites in the country, such as Google, Facebook and The New York Times.

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Observers speculate the blockade may have something to do with the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, which occurred on June 4, 1989.

China has expanded its ban on Wikipedia to block the community-edited online encyclopedia in all available languages , the BBC reports. Wikipedia joins a growing list of websites that cannot be accessed in China , which in recent years has tightened its grip on access to information online.

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Topics that are deemed too "sensitive" are also scrubbed, such as the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen pro-democracy protesters which will mark its 30th anniversary on June 4.

The expanded block of Wikipedia comes as Chinese authorities ramp up online controls and crack down on Great Firewall circumvention tools, such as virtual private network (VPN) software, under Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In November, China's cyberspace authority said it had "cleaned up" 9,800 accounts on Chinese social media platforms like messaging app WeChat and the Twitter-like Weibo that it accused of spreading "politically harmful" information and rumours.

Chinese Twitter users have also told AFP that they have experienced intimidation from local authorities -- and even detention -- for their tweets.

China blocks all language editions of Wikipedia © 2018 Getty Images ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 23: An error message for the blocked Wikipedia website page is seen on a computer screen on March 23, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan passed a new law on March 22 extending the reach of the country's radio and TV censor to the internet. The new law will allow RTUK, the states media watchdog, to monitor online broadcasts and block content of social media sites and streaming services including Netflix and YouTube. Turkey already bans many websites including Wikipedia, which has been blocked for more than a year. The move came a day after private media company Dogan Media Company announced it would sell to pro-government conglomerate Demiroren Holding AS. The Dogan news group was the only remaining news outlet not to be under government control, the sale, which includes assets in CNN Turk and Hurriyet Newspaper completes the governments control of the Turkish media. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The latest move to block all versions of Wikipedia could be linked to online translation tools, which make it easy for Chinese users to read anything on Wikipedia, explained Smith.

Images can also be considered taboo, he said.

"A picture is worth a thousand words, and there is no dearth of Tiananmen-related imagery on the Wikipedia website," Smith added.

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