Wikipedia Restored in China

    October 18, 2006

I was asked by a journalist to comment on China selectively granting access to Wikipedia, so I thought I would share my response here.

The recent opening of the Great Firewall of China to Wikipedia, selectively by language, ISP and municipality seems ripe with contradiction. The GFC is obviously not part of the One China policy. The revolutionary risk has always been a widening gap between hypergrowth cities and forgotten rural hinterland. One has to wonder if selective filtering against open information is a purposeful and protective measure, but dividing information always fails to conquer.

Or this could be seen as a positive, if not necessary step, not towards the political freedoms demanded at Tianamen, but economic necessity. The pattern of wealth creation, in it’s most current internet wave, is share control to create value. Market-Leninism fails to compete in a knowledge economy where markets are conversations. When the world’s greatest source of free knowledged cannot be accessed, the long term impact must be considerate.

See Also: Interview with Tim Starling via Angela.



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Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.