Reference Tool On Web Finds Fans, Censors – Philip P. Pan

This article is part of a series called The Great Firewall of China by the Washington Post’s Philip Pan. Pan will discuss this series on the Washington Post website on Tuesday at 11 am ET:

Officials tolerated Wikipedia at first, perhaps because it seemed to be exactly what the party had in mind when it began promoting Internet use 11 years ago — an educational resource that could help China close its technological gap with the West, encourage innovation and boost economic growth.

But as the Chinese Wikipedia flourished, the authorities apparently came to see it as another threat to the party’s control of information, and an example of an even more worrying development. The Internet has emerged as a venue for people with shared interests — or grievances — to meet, exchange ideas and plan activities without the party’s knowledge or approval.

With 111 million people online and 20,000 more joining them every day, the landscape of Chinese cyberspace resembles a vast collection of new and overlapping communities.

February 20, 2006 10:50 AM
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