Wikipedia says it has been blocked in China

Wikipedia says it has been blocked in China

The Chinese Communist Party's decision to issue a blanket ban on all 300 languages available on Wikipedia's platform comes a month after Beijing barred the Mandarin version of the community-edited encyclopedia without notifying the Wikimedia Foundation ahead of the ban.

In 2017, the site was blocked in Turkey and it has been blocked intermittently in Venezuela this year.

Authorities in mainland China have blocked Wikipedia, its owner said on Wednesday.

Internet researchers from the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), which is run by a US -based non-profit, said earlier this month that editions of Wikipedia in several languages had been banned as of April.

Tests run by GreatFire.org revealed that the site had not been accessible from within China since April 23. "It symbolises the fear that the Chinese authorities have of the truth". After closely analyzing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is now blocked across all language versions.

"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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The Cyberspace Administration of China, which oversees internet censorship, did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

Aside from services and apps by Google and Facebook, China's Great Firewall has also infamously blocked Wikipedia from being accessed. But versions in other languages have largely remained accessible, albeit with occasional interruptions. However, Wikimedia Foundation told AFP that it hadn't received any notices regarding the block.

"When one country, region or culture can not join the global conversation on Wikipedia, the entire world is poorer", she said.

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.

No reason has been given as to why China expanded the ban, but it has been known to block websites as anniversaries of political events draw near.

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