Monday, May 24, 2010

A partial #wikipedia block in #Pakistan

On Twitter I learned from Kim that Wikipedia being blocked in Pakistan. He refers to Pakistan.Wikia.com, and it refers to the BBC website. In it there is one line about Wikipedia:
Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted, latest reports say.

I find it quite surprising that news of blocks like this are not discussed in the many platforms for discussion. There are several aspects to it; it may be that people are not interested, it may be that people are not interested in learning about the consequences or that people are not willing to consider what it takes to get those blocks removed. Last but not least, it may be possible that it is discussed in one of the many "internal" platforms.

As there is no mention of censorship, the arguments used for it, there is no discussion about the relative merits of those blocks. In the case of China and now Pakistan some articles are blocked. It would be good when these articles are known so that we could at least better understand this whole phenomena.

A partial block is much to be preferred over a complete block because in this way the students of those countries have access to the information that is not blocked. A proper understanding of those blocks and their extend are needed to engage in a dialogue with the censors and their political masters. Some Wikipedia pages are also now being restricted, latest reports say. We have a strong argument in our neutral point of view and our educational purpose but do we really know the opposing arguments?
Thanks,
        GerardM
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