Its really hard in here behind the Great FireWall of China. They've banned xanga, I can't visit my own blog here, and Wikipedia is out of bounds too. They should probably just block Google and Yahoo too, simply out of spite.
The biggest problem now is that my local friends cannot visit my blog... or vote on my poll... *sigh*
Proxy servers are generally slow... and a lot of them are banned in China anyway [what did you expect?] Unfortunately China's policy of Free Speech doesn't extend to its citizens.
The only good thing right now is that at least I can post in blogger [and get a preview of what my page looks like] For everything else I have to use web proxies... and fortunately I've been able to find a decent working site. Not sure how long it will work though.
Sitting down here among the chinese students who spend a large part of their free time online, I wonder why so many websites are banned. One explanation would be that the 'leaders' want to shield these 'young ones' from international view points. Or is it the other way around... because the 'leaders' don't want the international public to read the chinese viewpoint? Or the 'leaders' want to keep tabs on what the chinese are talking about, which they might be able to do with chinese websites like QQ?
Anyway, we feel bad when popular websites are banned. We say that Free Speech is important. That real freedom comes only when you can choose for yourself who you want to listen to. Does that mean we are against banning of websites? In India some Pakistani websites are banned because they have been deemed 'detrimental to national unity and security'. In Orkut a group/community was banned after almost all Indian orkut users voted against it [by hitting the report abuse link]. Even a court in India got involved. It was an anti-India group with a burning Indian flag as its profile picture. And yes I will say, the banning of the group was justified. And yes I measure it with Indian standards.
Would that mean that when measured by chinese standards, banning of Wikipedia is justified?
"Of course not" might be the first thought in your minds. But then Wikipedia is not exactly accurate. Why? Because everything in it is written by 'normal' people. It works on the principle that people who know will not let lies to be spread [again, sorry for not being able to remember the exact words] But it is quite possible that you might get the wrong information from it... esp. on matters which are not very... 'popular'. So think about it. Is the banning of Wikipedia in China justified?
Whether or not... it remains banned.
And I don't like bans