Thursday, September 14, 2006

Go Wikipedia!

Wikipedia defies China's censors. Good for them:
The founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia written by its users, has defied the Chinese government by refusing to bow to censorship of politically sensitive entries.

Jimmy Wales, one of the 100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine, challenged other internet companies, including Google, to justify their claim that they could do more good than harm by co-operating with Beijing.
[. . . ]
Wales said censorship was ' antithetical to the philosophy of Wikipedia. We occupy a position in the culture that I wish Google would take up, which is that we stand for the freedom for information, and for us to compromise I think would send very much the wrong signal: that there's no one left on the planet who's willing to say "You know what? We're not going to give up."'
I gotta say, that's a pretty cool thing to do and say. I know Wikipedia has plenty of detractors out there, but I like it; as long as you take the political topics with a massive grain of salt, check the citations of important facts, and basically understand how Wikipedia works, it's really one of the easiest, and often most accurate, information-getting tools on the web.

Of course, companies like Google and Yahoo stand to make money in Red China, whereas Wikipedia is non-profit, as far as I know, so I'm sure that's a factor. Still though, it's good that at least one of the major web tools out there is taking a stand.
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