Of course, there was always the language barrier, but zh.wikipedia.org could definitely have been as high quality as the English version given the chance.
Yes, this will create conflicts as to which information is correct, but Wikipedia has had this problem since forever, and deals with it.
Some infoboxes on Wikipedia have values that are automatically synced to the related Wikidata entry.
For recent events we have already seen large press groups spreading misinformation. So when do you know when they actually produce facts or produce biased BS? At the end of the day somebody makes a call and we know nothing of their affiliations.
1. The surrounding text depends on the number it contains. By blindly replacing numbers in every language version, you get garbage like "Town A is the most populated place on the region at 10,000 inhabitants, followed by Town B at 11,000."
2. If you look at multiple language versions and they disagree, you know one of them must be incorrect and you should watch out for bias and outdated information. Forcing them to all have the same data takes away that feature.
3. Bias is rarely a problem with objectively checkable data. When the PRC publishes an encyclopedia, the issue with it is not that they'd get the date of Tiananmen Square wrong.
4. Requiring people to use and read some sort of placeholders instead of ordinary text greatly increases the barrier to entry.
Out of fun I compare some Russian vs English articles on controversial topics (e.g. Stalin / Nicholas II / etc). It's really interesting to see how it's different. In most cases it matches to the traditional point of view in native speaker community.
However as you get into the various sciences, the quality and coverage of articles drops off very quickly.
I also find that the tone of the articles can also veer off a little bit from the usual encyclopedia-detached tone of Wikipedia (at least somewhat more so than the English version)
I still prefer it to Baidu's online encyclopedia, but it's not as excellent as the English version.
ESNI seems like it would work pretty well. Although the PRC firewall could likely be used to block ESNI and/or TLS 1.3 and force plain-text SNI.
I think this is something to understand about modern political information manipulation/restriction.
The 1.0 version totalitarian censorship aimed for full information control. This is what the soviets and pre-1990s CCP tried to do. It's difficult because (as you say) information is hard to control.
The 2.0 version is about enough control. You can use a vpn (or memory stick), but most won't. This gives one version of events a major advantage over the others. Easy-to-find praise for the government, difficult-to-find dissent.It's about dominant influence, not absolute control. When needed, regimes can temporarily increase control, like erdogan did during the last turkish coup attempt.
A soft paralel is social media "bubbles." They don't "control" the information you can access, but they are enough to influence your opinions in a direction. There are lots of exceptions, but on average, these have a big influence on who we think the good and bad guys are.
As in, wouldn't software designed to work just as well without constant Internet "solve" this?
On the other hand, the GFW excluding much content from outside China makes the China Internet experience particularly Chinese and not the "real Internet".
Off the top of my head, losing access to any of the following platforms will hamper your professional development: Github, Stack Overflow, cloud services leaders (AWS, GCP, MS Azure, etc.), Coursera, Udacity, Youtube, Khan Academy, Google Search, Google groups, Slack. At best, you'll have to use a VPN, or maybe resort to a domestically developed and probably inferior alternative. At worst, no such alternative exists.
PRC have proven repeatedly that they can and will arbitrarily block foreign services without notice. Slack works today, but how long until they decide that Slack facilitates too much discussion about Falungong, Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwanese independence, or Tiananmen?
What ways are that? We do know about sneakernet and emailing tarballs, but I guess it has to be something else? I'm curious.
It's not that difficult to set up your own git remote. But if you don't have access to documentation for your libraries it really becomes tough.
In the West we have the choice to use the service that gives us all these benefits. Mmm, choices.
For instance for the 2008 olympics many blocked sites were opened up, and conversely they tighten everything up before every National People's Congress elections.
”You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” – Winnie the Pooh
In addition, Peppa Pig is not banned and neither are time travel shows. In 2018, there were over 20 TV shows that had time travel in them.
I'd like to be proven wrong. So wise throwtt78oo65, tell me about your facts.
Yes, freedom requires sacrifices. Freedom is not for feeble hearted.
This is an important point. I'd say keeping it in mind is more important for citizens of free countries today, than Chinese.
The sole fact that an argument like this being brought more and more in the West, where it wouldn't fly even 10 years ago, say just how much closer to China the West has become.
The DNS injection is obviously in place. But something strange happened when I checked the SNI filtering. The curl command stopped at "TLSv1.2 (OUT), TLS alert, Client hello (1)" and never exited when I tried to connect to www.bbc.com but with a --connect-to that is not blocked. Nothing strange until now. If SNI blocking is in place, they probably drop all the remaining packets of the connection. The strange thing is that when I try the opposite test and I connect to www.kernel.org (not blocked in Iran, too!) but with www.bbc.com SNI it still stops at TLS client hello.
First I thought they blocked the IP address, but I was able to connect to 220.127.116.11 (the IP address of www.bbc.com) on port 443 with telnet command. So, is Iran's regime using some other blocking mechanism that I'm not aware of? Or am I doing some kind of mistake?
You could try it on some other IPFS gateways. For instance:
There's a list of gateways (hopefully github isn't blocked...) in case these two are also blocked. You could also try just using IPFS directly, rather than using an HTTP-to-IPFS gateway, though that's rather more involved and potentially might make you stand out more / seem more suspicious.
In brief, in case you hadn't read about it, the idea behind IPFS is that it's a decentralised, torrent-like content storage system, where content and nodes are "addressed" via their hash (e.g. QmXoyp... above), similarly to git. In order to allow people without the IPFS daemon to access the "IPFS web" there are gateways, like the ones mentioned above.
 I hope that I'm not just helping Chinese censors by providing a list of domains to block...
GitHub is working. Cloud fare ipfs and ipfs.io are both blocked.
Many Chinese here in Shenzhen use VPNs to access YouTube and Facebook. So it's the easiest and most reliable way to access Wikipedia.
There's even something like this, that lets you browse via bittorrent:
My standard process is to spin up a Streisand instance before I go there and give me multiple options (Shadowsocks and Wireguard are my main two).
Thank you OONI and ellais for this report tho.
Keep up the good work!
There are Chinese-based alternatives to Wikipedia that are much more popular: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_China#Online_encyc....
All programmers I know have software to circumvent the Great Firewall and view it as a necessary condition of their profession.
Many Chinese developers are not fluent English users though. There's a "Chinese StackOverflow" called segmentfault.com, and I often see people asking fellow developers in WeChat groups.
Source: Am Chinese in China
And you miss the whole point of censorship. It's about making people reluctant to remembering it.
But there were all sorts of web shutdowns leading up to previous anniversaries.
BTW: It been blocked days ago. The with no obvious reason, but the time is a (loose) match, weird.
* Please add to the debate rather than down-voting. Also Hayek wasn't musing about future autonomous cars, its a metaphor about how deciding what everyone in society should do/think doesn't scale.
The assumption you're making is that the Chinese government, or any government actually, optimizes for the prosperity of the people. Governments optimize for the prosperity of some people. In China that appears to be the ruling elite. In America it's the wealthy. Here in the UK it's the establishment (which is the existing upper class and the newly wealthy).
I don't think any government genuinely has the interests of all the people at heart, but I am massively pessimistic and cynical so maybe it's me.
On the other hand, immigrants I've spoken to from countries with autocratic regimes, while not starry eyed about the nature of western governments, have no problem explaining why the situation in their countries of origin is much, much worse, and why the government of their new country is much fairer and functional.
If you're looking for a way to describe how good your government is and you come up with "Think how much worse it could be!" then I think the government has failed in its duty.
There's a spectrum of government effectiveness that goes from "actively oppressing the people" to "genuinely helping the people". Too many governments are at the wrong end, and very few are at the right end. Most seem to be somewhere in the middle. That, in my opinion, isn't good enough.
Yes, it would have, but many governments, including the UK, can be described in far better terms than this, and my point was that living under such a government can blind you to them.
The UK government does many things that it would not bother to do if it was only concerned with a wealthy elite (note that I said "only", obviously the government does plenty of things that are for a wealthy elite). It funds welfare programmes and state pensions that have no direct benefit to the rich elite. It enforces a minimum wage that have no direct benefit to the rich elite. It enforces worker rights and safety regulations that have no direct benefit to the rich elite. It has a progressive tax regime that has no direct benefit to the rich elite. It allows ordinary citizens a degree of freedom of movement, expression, political affiliation and democratic expression that has no direct benefit to the rich elite.
And yes, it's easy to find examples in all these areas where the implementation falls far short of the theory. But nonetheless there is still a huge difference between both the theory and implementation of government in the UK vs a country like China, North Korea, Iran, etc.
Criticism of every government is useful and important, but criticism should be grounded in reality. In a fair and reasonable assessment of what is done right as well as what is done wrong. Instead, most criticism I see of western governments by their own citizens is incredibly facile; uninformed by fact, and ignorant of both the history and reality of its political institutions, substituting nuance for lazy stereotypes and received opinions about the supposed inherent corruption and incompetence of all politics and politicians.
I always thought the people in power do this because they learned the hard way that revolutions and uprisings are frightening and that conceding to some, mostly trivial, requests from the rest of the people is a good way to prevent them from happening. As you point out, China, NK, Iran, Saudi Arabia & co. show that there are other ways of doing the same that work just as well (for now, at least - and with differing sets of side-effects, obviously), but they all have the same goal: to stay in power and rule over the people.
I'm not saying it's intrinsically bad or anything, but I think that saying the people ruling the West are all idealists who wish to serve the people, while people in the exact same positions elsewhere in the world are power-hungry despots seems kind of... too optimistic, maybe?
There was this consul in ancient Rome (IIRC) who was a farmer, was appointed as a leader to win the war, then he won the war and then left his office to go back to his farm. There's probably a reason why this became a legend - it wouldn't be this famous a tale if things like that used to happen every other day.
I wish more people watch the Documentary, Yes Minster, it perfectly describe modern days politics with sense of humour, and many of it are still true even if it was done some 40 years ago.
The vast majority of the Chinese population has seen dramatic improvements during the last 40 years.
However, I'm not sure that's in any way relevant to freedom of thought and freedom of information.
In general I am skeptical of "Communism is bad because the government will X" arguments where private industry is capable of doing X in as thorough a way for the average citizen's practical liberty and especially where private industry is already trying X.
North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic
Ironically, in the capitalist future, each car will decide where to go through a computer system controlled by a single company instead.
Distributed systems have many interesting properties, like resilience / fault-tolerance and flexibility. But efficiency is not one of those properties, as evidenced by ridiculous amount of waste generated by the process of competition.
Note that I'm not arguing the soviets were right and the world should be run from Moscow. I do however believe that spectacular failure modes of centrally planned economies were caused mostly by slow, incomplete and unreliable feedback loops, and not because the idea is inherently bad (it works for businesses pretty well). Moreover, I hate this clueless criticizing I frequently see that "centralized = bad", "distributed = good". Truth is, "distributed = wasteful", "centralized = efficient", but sometimes it's worth to be inefficient to get the benefits distribution brings.
Genuine question as my knowledge of org charts is roughly as simplistic as this cartoon: https://www.businessinsider.com/big-tech-org-charts-2011-6?o...
Corporations want to be centrally controlled, but the control is so poorly organized in most cases it's chaotic at best. And then there are multiple forms of organizations, not every of them works top-down, there are organizations that leave a lot of opportunities for working level employees to propose new ideas and initiatives.
Note that's still central control, just with fatter signalling pipe which can send ideas upstairs, and not just results. Directions and evaluations still come from the top.
Precisely not as I have pointed out. It's like saying a democracy is a centrally controlled system as well, since you only have one government. But in practice the government listens to the people in order to decide what to do next. It goes both ways.
(And I'm not even joking. Somebody soon will have the "brilliant" insight that "going to a place" isn't what the consumers truly want - surely, they want for some thing they desire to happen, and they may be flexible about the physical location of that thing, or about who's gonna do that thing.)
Wikipedia is great for most generic topics, but for "sensitive" topics, it's pretty much propaganda. Considering how heavily wikipedia is censored by wikipedia itself, maybe a taste of their own medicine will make them change their position, but I doubt it.
Sadly, as more and more people use the internet, it'll be censored more and more by the elites in china, US, russia, EU, etc. What we are seeing is the internet becoming an overt tool of propaganda rather than a platform of discussion or exchange of ideas. Even worse, it seems like there are tons of support for censorship, especially amongst the young "educated" demographics.
Also generalization is bad. You might want to visit a skeptic association and follow a course about human cognitive bias (it is helpfull, but it won't "cure" you from them, just make you more self-aware).