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October 01, 2008

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» Jimmy Wales meets with China's 'net censors about Wikipedia-blocking from Boing Boing
Rebecca McKinnon blogs... Last week, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had a meeting with Cai Mingzhao, Vice Director of China's State Council Information Office - the government body whose "Internet Management Division" is in charge of censoring online c... [Read More]

Comments

Gen Kanai

Absolutely fascinating. Surprising that the govt. office chose to promote the meeting with Jimmy publicly. However, I still stand a skeptic on this topic in a general sense. The govt. has used so much time, energy & resources to block certain information coming into the nation. Why would that policy change?

Keith Hughitt

"Am I also correct in understanding that you are open to making changes if they point out content that does not comply with NPOV ["neutral point of view"] standards?"

One of the problems I think will be that the office's idea of NPOV "neutral" might be a little different from... reality.

Overall though it is really good to see that they are starting to communicate. Definitely a positive step.

Thanks for reporting Rebecca!

Statue of Liberty

This Wikipedia is written in English. Started in 2001, it currently contains 2,568,189 articles.

人人可編輯的自由百科全書
已有205,223篇中文條目(tanslate: Anyone can be an editor on this free encyclopedia, it currently contains 205,223 Chinese articles.
The world's number of Chinese(or people who can read and write Chinese) = One billion?(I presume not EVERY Chinese can read and write)
Number of people who can read and write English= 1.8 billion(from Wiki)
Now 1.8 billion English speaking people have contributed 2.6 millions articles in Wikipedia, whereas one billion's contribution is a miserable 200 thousands articles.
That means the contribution from the English speaking world is more than 10 times that from the Chinese speaking world.
Mr.Wales, may be you have forgotten to give this basic of the Basic Facts to your host Mr.Vice Director Ca?
If you did forget, do you mind tell him this fact next time when you talk to him, and at the same time ask him,"WHY"?

Helene

Very interesting post!

Statue of Liberty

http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E5%9B%9B%E5%BA%AB%E5%85%A8%E6%9B%B8&variant=zh-tw#.E5.88.A0.E6.94.B9.E5.8F.A4.E7.B1.8D

《四庫全書》是中國歷史上規模最大的一套叢書(其次是明朝的《永樂大典》)。[1]清乾隆三十八年(1773年)開始編纂,歷時9年成書。共收書3503種,79337卷,36304冊,近230萬頁,約8億字。[2][3]整套書收録了從先秦到清乾隆前大部的重要古籍(一部分被列為禁書),涵蓋了古代中國幾乎所有學術領域。

Above is the main page of Wikipedia's article on 《四庫全書》, the Chinese encyclopedia edited during the Manchu ruler Qianlong 乾隆.

http://baike.baidu.com/view/2903.htm#8

(A):《四库全书》的编修可以说是全国图书都要进献检查,不仅不利于满清的文献被禁毁,连前人涉及契丹(Khitan)、女真(Nuzhen, Juchen)、蒙古(Mongol)、辽(Liao)金(Jin)元(Yuan)的文字都要进行篡改。查缴禁书竟达三千多种,十五万多部,总共焚毁的图书超过七十万部,禁毁书籍与四库所收书籍一样多。

(B):《四库全书》所收古籍许多经过篡改是尽人皆知的事实。与清代统治者利益相关的明朝人的文学和历史作品遭到大力剿灭,而且殃及北宋南宋。

(C):另外,根据一些近代学者,发现的宋代刻本看,很多描绘金元屠杀的史料,在满清《四库全书》中,全部遭到了删除和篡改。最令人发指的是,满清还通过篡改文献,达到对汉民族进行诬蔑的目的。如满清宣称,张献忠立有碑文,曰:『天生万物,以养人人无一善以报天,杀、杀、杀、杀、杀、杀、杀』。但根据近年四川考古工作者,找到的张献忠碑文看,实际却是:『天生万物,与人人无一物与天鬼神明明,自思自量』根本没有七个杀字。这些杀字,显然是满清走狗文人胡编出来的。

Above is 百度百科(a Baidu's version of Wikipedia) main page on 《四库全书》, which paints a different story.
On (A), Baidu says: Manchu court was checking all the books within the country, they not only ban and destroy books that contain unfavorable opinions towards Manchu, they even change the words of any books on Khitan, Juchen, Mongol, Liao, Jin, Yuan. They ban more then 3000 groups of books, 150,000 books, all together burned 700,000 plus books, the number of books they burned was equivalent to the number of books collected under 《四库全书》.
On (B), Baidu says: Everybody(Chinese) knows that all those ancient books collected under 《四库全书》 had been edited and modified, Ming Dynasty's books on literature and history were being destroyed on massive scale, even books from North Song Dynasty and South Song Dynasty were destroyed.
On (C), contemporary scholars have discovered, all the historical texts describing the massacre of other ethnic by Mongol and Jin were being deleted and modified in 《四库全书》. The Manchu also conduct blatant smearing campaign on Han (漢) ethnic. For example, Manchu told us that on a stone monument erected by 张献忠(one of the Ming Dynasty's general) there were 7 Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, words. But according to the recent scholar's discovery, there is no such things like seven KILL words. The Manchu runing dogs were telling lies about Han (漢) ethnic race.

Rebecca, you sit on the Wikimedia's Advisory Board, when you have time, can you please raise this issue towards other 19 members of the Advisory Board, including chairperson Angela Beesley, including Mr. Jimmy Wales, and tell them that Wikipedia Chinese version(zh Wikipedia) has a serious inner structural flaw. Tell them that zh.Wikipedia is very sick, because majority of the editors of zh.Wikipedia not only sick, they are cultural eunuchs. They have castrated their own conscience, throw away all the morality, and act and live a life of 奴才, minion, flunkey. And they will be recorded in future history books as such.

Statue of Liberty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siku_Quanshu

--snip--The editorial board included 361 scholars, with Ji Yun (紀昀) and Lu Xixiong (陸錫熊) as chief editors. They began compilation in 1773 and completed it in 1782. The editors collected and annotated over 10,000 manuscripts from the imperial collections and other libraries, destroyed some 3,000 that were considered to be anti-Manchu, and selected 3,461 books for inclusion into the Siku quanshu.--snip--

To verify my statement:"Chinese editors(not all of them, I hope) on zh.Wikipedia.org are a bunch of flunkey, I seach for 四庫全書 in en.Wikipedia.org, the above article pop up. Even though the content was not as comprehensive as that of Baidu, at least it says:"destroyed some 3,000 that were considered to be anti-Manchu, and selected 3,461 books for inclusion into the Siku quanshu.", which verify the claim made by Baidu that the number of books burned by the Manchu is equivalent to the number of books collected into Siku quanshu ( 四庫全書).

Wikipedia's official policies and guidelines can be summarized as five pillars :
(1) Wikipedia is an encyclopedia .
Yes, en.wikipedia is, zh.wikipedia is not. When it's own Chinese historical article's content is much less, and inaccurate then it's own sister project, en.wikipedia, which is in English, which needs Chinese-English translation of various Chinese text books, and most of the editors of en.wikipedia would be non-Chinese, and yet the editors of zh.wikipedia still call themselves Chinese?
Shame Shame Shame Shame.Shame on you, all of you "Chinese" editors of zh.wikipedia.org.
Go find somewhere to hide.

GAC

@Statue of Liberty: The official Chinese government statistics state a literacy rate of 95%, though it's likely lower than that.

And of course, you leave out level of Internet access, relative wealth and free time, as well as the fact that AIUI the English Wikipedia started a good while before other languages were added. Wikipedia is probably much more integrated into anglophone cultures than any others.

That said, the censorship probably takes a massive chunk out of it. Particularly when the whole site was blocked, it would be just too much effort for people to run around the blocks for editing.

Besides that, the Chinese Internet has it's own structure sort of separate from the American Internet. Chinese users tend to prefer different email, IM, and other services, partly because of censorship and partly just because of culture and familiarity, and, of course, language -- why would they use primarily English-language services from America when they've been using their own Chinese version forever. Likewise, why would I switch to QQ (Chinese chat client), when I have most of my friends on MSN or Yahoo!chat?

rambo

Is Mr. Wales aware of the fact, that Internet access from his hotel room and Internet access for the average Mr Wang's home are different?

He must check accessibility of Wikipedia in someones home, picked at random without prior notice, not in his hotel room. Else, he will not know th true status of accessibility.

Statue of Liberty

@GAC, thanks for your explanation, which does make things a bit clearer, but I still have lots of questions to ask.
http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=%E6%88%9A%E7%B9%BC%E5%85%89&variant=zh-tw
戚继光 Qi Jiguang(1528-1588), a Ming Dynasty general who had won many battles against then Japanese pirates. On zh.wikipedia's main page, I give it a rough count, it has 36 lines, roughly 1000 Chinese words. At the most.

http://baike.baidu.com/view/10438.htm
I then type the same name on Baidu's online encyclopedia, its main page has roughly 300 lines, about 12,000 words.
Well, on this subject 戚继光 Qi Jiguang, Baidu's info is ten times that of zh.wikipedia, again it shows the inferiority of zh.wikipedia.
The "Shame on you zh.wiki" is still valid.

Fake Admin

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/05/1752206
Re:Mistakes (Score:5, Interesting)
by Admiral Ag (829695) on Wednesday March 05 2008, @08:53PM (#22657910)
That's a bit mean. Wikipedia has obvious problems, but the fact that it is probably the world's largest book and is more or less accurate is an astonishing achievement. What it loses in accuracy or polish it makes up for in sheer breadth.

The problems it has occur largely because the management, and Wales in particular, are incompetent. Many of the obvious problems with Wikipedia could be solved by having professional administrators (at least at the top of the tree) who are barred from creating content, but merely enforce the rules. When those who create the content may also enforce the rules, it is obvious that there is the potential for conflict of interest. It is even worse when not only are those who create the content able to enforce the rules, but are able to themselves make the rules.

As it stands, Wikipedia's open structure encourages obsessives with major personality disorders. It's no surprise that the most influential admins tend to be obsessive, manipulative, vindictive scum, because the structure of the organization is such that obsessive, manipulative, vindictive scum will rise to the top. If you aren't an obsessive, you simply won't be able to match the work rate of people who are, and if you aren't Machiavellian, you will be beaten out by people who are. Communities need separation between those who make the rules, those who interpret them, and those who enforce them. Wikipedia doesn't have that, so the rules are simply interpreted according to the interests of the ruling clique.

It's all turned out rather like "Animal Farm" (with Wales as the swine in chief). Secret email lists, administrators who are seemingly able to break the rules, yet never be punished, while good faith editors whose agenda conflicts with those of the ruling clique are blocked based on the most trivial evidence. Mindless groupthink among the cabal. Rules continue to multiply like rabbits, many of them based on the weird personal agendas of admins. The Israel/Palestine articles are a shameful mess, etc.

Jimbo Wales has to go. Wikipedia is now one of the most important and influential sites on the net. It needs, competent and professional management.

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