In the media
China blocks secure version of Wikipedia
An article on TheNextWeb.com says that the Chinese Government has "effectively blocked" Wikipedia by cutting off access to the HTTP Secure (https) "workaround", almost completely cutting off uncensored access to those in China. Though Wikipedia has previously been blocked, people could still circumvent it using https instead of HTTP. The Great Firewall of China was not able to selectively block sensitive content, according to the initial report from Greatfire.org, a prominent censorship watch organization which the New York Times has previously featured. Greatfire.org accused Wikipedia of not caring about Chinese Wikipedia readers, using as evidence Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' threat to make https the default in the UK if its parliament passed a "snooping bill"—and the lack of similar support for those in China.
Greatfire is calling for the WMF to switch the default protocol for Chinese Wikipedia readers from http to https, which would make the Chinese government choose between lifting the blackout or keeping what would quickly become a highly publicized block.
When asked to respond, the Wikimedia Foundation's Head of Communications Jay Walsh soundly disputed the blog's assertions:
||Clearly we don't hold any readers of our projects in any less regard. Our mission is to bring the knowledge contained in the Wikimedia projects to everyone on the planet. There is no strategic consideration around how we can make one or another language project more accessible or readable in one part of the world or another, and as the blog post does correctly state, we do not have control over how a national government operates its censorship system. We also do not work with any national censorship system to limit access to or project knowledge in any way.
Walsh also took issue with the blog post's factual assumptions, such as Jimmy's role within the WMF, which he says was mischaracterized by Greatfire. While Jimmy has indirect impact through his position on the board of trustees, he does not have direct, day-to-day impact on its staff. In addition, Walsh told the Signpost that while moving to an https default is a goal the WMF is actively working on, doing so is not "trivial"—it is a delicate process that the WMF plans to enable in graduated steps, from logged-in users to testing on smaller wikis before making it the default for anonymous users and readers on all projects.
Articles currently censored by the Chinese government primarily center around the Tiananmen Square Massacre which occurred on 3 and 4 June (the dates on which Wikipedia was censored) of 1989, and about which the Chinese government forbids discussion. Related discussion is currently occurring on the Wikimedia-l mailing list, and a technical description of the https "challenges" can be read here.
- Mobilink brings Wikipedia Zero to Pakistan: According to an announcement published in the Nation, an English-language Pakistani newspaper, Mobilink has launched Wikipedia Zero to Pakistani readers allowing them access to the "world's largest general reference database". Wikimedia Foundation Head of Communications Jay Walsh was ecstatic, telling the Signpost that it was a "big day" for Wikipedia Zero: "We're really thrilled to expand into another region and increase the number of readers who can access Wikipedia at no cost".
- What would Wikipedia have looked like in the 1980s?: An article in the Huffington Post explored this concept after a YouTube video emerged regarding what popular websites would have looked like about 30 years ago. The video can be viewed in its entirety here.
- WNBA franchise popularity and Wikipedia: An exposition on Sports Blog site SwishAppeal.com, a derivative of SBNation.com, gave some analysis on gauging the popularity of Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) teams based on page views on respective Wikipedia articles. Based on the analysis, the Los Angeles Sparks are the most popular team.
- Wikipedia's most controversial articles: Wired published an exposition on some of the most controversial articles (that is, articles with the highest frequency of reverts) on various language Wikipedias. On the English Wikipedia, George W. Bush was the most controversial, followed by Anarchism and Muhammad. Croatia took the top spot on the German Wikipedia, Chile on the Spanish Wikipedia, and Homosexuality on the Czech Wikipedia.
- Photo contest in Nepal: The Himalayan Times reported that Wikipedians in Nepal have marked the 11th birthday of the Nepali Wikipedia (which was started on 3 June 2002) by announcing a photo contest on Nepal's cultural heritage. The contest will take place in September.
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