Published: Sat, May 18, 2019

China blocks all language editions of Wikipedia ahead of Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

China blocks all language editions of Wikipedia ahead of Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

OONI report that from April 25 this year, all language editions of Wikipedia have been blocked by a DNS anomaly.

Wikipedia joins the ranks of Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp, and others, which are locked behind China's so-called "Great Firewall". Prior to this, it used to just be that China had banned the chinese version, and various sensitive pages (such as those related to the Dalai Lama and the Tiananmen Square incident).

According to Wikipedia, they had not received any notice or explanation regarding the ban.

In a statement, the foundation said: "In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China".

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, Smith said.

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


This DNS blocking even applied to Wikipedia sub-domains that didn't exist and China have used multiple layers of blocking for the sites, making it now impossible to circumvent the block according to the OONI researchers.

"At the end of the day, the content that really matters is Chinese-language content". "It symbolises the fear that the Chinese authorities have of the truth".

Images can also be considered taboo, he said.

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

The ban came ahead of the 30th anniversary, on June 4, of deadly protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

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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