Wikipedia is undergoing a ban in China since April this year. The Wikimedia Foundation has confirmed that the website is not accessible anywhere in the country in any language. The Chinese version of the website was banned back in 2015; however, the ban has been expanded so that it covers all of the languages now.
The ban was detected by the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI). OONI is a global observation network that looks for censorship, surveillance, and traffic manipulation on the internet. The network has stated that the ban has been enforced by making use of DNS injection and SNI filtering. Wikimedia Foundation has said that it was not notified of the ban.
The Wikimedia Foundation has stated in response to the news by saying, ‘In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China. After closely analyzing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions.’
We all are aware of a Wikipedia; a free, open-source, community-edited encyclopedia. It has been the subject of ban from various countries during different times. It was banned in Turkey in 2017 and has undergone intermittent bans in Venezuela during the recent months. There is no definite answer as to why China decided to block foreign languages versions of the site now; however, some observers have said that it is because of the link that exists between the movie and the closing of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. The protesters staged a protest back in 1989 where they called for democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech.
Government forces have been performing a vigorous crackdown making the assessing of information about the events on the 4th June impossible. However, once Wikipedia made its switch to HTTPS, censors were unable to pick up the pages that individuals were accessing. It appears that China dealt with the situation by means of a blanket ban on all of the Wikipedia sites.
China has always been active when it comes to suppressing internet speech and political action. Twitter is also banned in the country, and the government is extra harsh on those who use the social media platform for criticizing the government. What do you think of this ban?