China has expanded its country-wide Wikipedia ban to include all non-Chinese languages versions of the website.
The full Wikipedia ban comes on the cusp of the Tiananmen Square protests’ 30-year anniversary, when Chinese authorities killed thousands of students protesting. It’s not uncommon for China’s government to add heightened censorship ahead of major political anniversaries or milestones, reports the South China Morning Post.
Wikipedia’s Chinese-language site has been banned in the country since 2015, but the proliferation of easy-to-use translation tools likely contributed to the language-wide ban, per the Morning Post. Additionally, blocking the Chinese-language version of the site doesn’t stop users from seeing images of the Tiananmen protests that are available on Wikipedia pages in other languages.
The ban, which reportedly went into effect in late April, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with China’s internet censorship history, since the one-party country has given LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat some variation of the censorship treatment over the last several years. The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, said in a statement that it didn’t receive any advance warning about the ban, reports Time.
Source:: The Week – World