amw (amw) wrote,

  • Mood:

no wiki, no smile

This Tuesday the Chinese government blocked all Wikipedias. Previously the Chinese-language Wikipedia was blocked, but all the other languages remained available.

This has made me realize just how fundamental Wikipedia is to my experience of the internet. Before they blocked Wikipedia, i barely even noticed the Great Firewall. Now Wikipedia is blocked, i find myself needing to spin up a VPN connection multiple times a day.

It's remarkable how much i take for granted the ability to look up the back story behind literally every fucking thing. I look up geographical information. I look up actors and wrestlers and writers and politicians. I look up computer games. I look up philosophical concepts. I look up historical events. I spend at least an hour every day reading wiki. Without being able to find the context of things in my life, i feel completely hobbled.

Here is a list of things the Great Firewall blocks that i do not give a shit about: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Google, Pornhub, Soundcloud, Vimeo, Medium.

The internet works just fine without all that stuff. In some ways it works better, because all the websites that usually embed "social content" (i.e. ad tracking) just have a blank space instead. But without Wikipedia, the internet is pretty much fucking useless to me.

I am hoping that this is only a temporary block, due to next week being the 100 year anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, and the coming month in general being the 30 year anniversary of the student protests that culminated in the incident in Tiananmen Square (tank man etc).

Then again, i hoped that Steam Community would also only be a temporary block, but that's full blocked now. I guess the Reddit fans felt the same way when that disappeared recently. On the other hand, Bing was temporarily blocked and then restored, so there is a tiny shred of hope.

Are there any other sites on the internet that are indispensible in the same way Wikipedia is?
Tags: china, teh internets

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