How does China see Wikipedia? Debunk China's internet censorship
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Wikimedia projects have been suffering accessibility problems in China for a long time, with most recently China blocks access to Wikipedia in all languages by the end of this April. However, there is still an active Wikimedia community in mainland China. This lecture will be mainly targeting these questions (depend on time available):
- Why China censor the internet massively
- How does China censor internet from a technical perspective, and how people get around it (spoiler: way beyond just VPNs)
- How does China's internet works without Google, Twitter, Facebook (and Wikipedia as well)
- Experience of using the internet in a global south country
- How Chinese people see Wikipedia as a brand (we have different conclusions as compared to this post)
- How does the community in mainland China grows
- How we plan to build the community in the future
This session will address the conference theme — Wikimedia, Free Knowledge and the Sustainable Development Goals — in the following manner:
Internet censorship has become an increasing concern for people worldwide. Blocking access to certain websites (such as Turkey in 2017), apps (such as Telegram in several countries), social media, or even completely blackout internet in the whole country (such as Congo a few month ago) has become more common as the growth of population who have access to the internet. Media reported dozens of countries block websites or shut down the internet so far in 2019, and countries like Russia has tightened regulations. Simply googling will come up countless results with many happened in the past month. With the fact that internet censorship worldwide has no signs of declining, we need to face it. Besides censorship, internet connectivity in many underdeveloped countries is also concerning, but many of us rarely feel it and the WMF isn't paying enough attention - before the Foundation set up servers in Singapore last year, all Wikipedia readers in Asia will have their data routed across the Pacific to San Francisco or across the Indian ocean to Paris. Free knowledge will never reach its audiences without ways to distribute it, and that matters to equality on education and information (SDG 4, 5, and 10).
China implemented a new law targeting foreign NGOs in 2017, and that has an effect on Wikimedia's activities as well. A changing justice environment also concerns countries like India (SDG 16), and we would like to share our experiences in China as well.
At the end of the session, the following will have been achieved:
- Increase audiences' understanding of internet censorship worldwide
- There are a lot of people seem interested in China's internet censorship, but very few people understand how it works. Many parts of this lecture are not related to Wikimedia projects directly, but tell the story of how it works could satisfy audiences' curiosity and deepen audiences' understanding of the big picture.
- Increase WMF and technicians' attention on internet connectivity problems in the global south
- Let the world learn from China's experience
- Although China has a relatively active and large Wikimedia community, however, its population is extremely widespread. It is common for a city with millions in population but only one or two active Wikimedians. We get around it with our online lectures as well as offline meetups. We think there is definitely something the world could learn from us.
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Each Space at Wikimania 2019 will have specific format requests. The program design prioritises submissions which are future-oriented and directly engage the audience. The format of this submission is a:
- with a relatively long Q&A section for answering questions
The session will work best with these conditions:
A projector is needed for the presentation. Room size depends on numbers protential audiences, most ideally a lecture hall.
The presentation will cover a little bit of everything, so there would be no upper limit for audiences, no need for any knowledge, but there will be some coverage on computer science, internet, and law. Depends on the time available, there may be a part that will go more technical, so basic knowledge on computer networking is encouraged in order to understand.
Regular recording. There will be some copyrighted images in the presentation, but the whole video will definitely fall into De minimis.
- Sorry for unilaterally adding a support section to this application but I want to express my interest and support for this lecture. Sound very interesting! -- Discott (talk) 14:03, 29 May 2019 (UTC)
- Please discuss https://baike.baidu.com/ - I think it's important Wikipedia mentions it and perphaps even tracks content flow between the two