Another point of view is that the knowledge doesn’t (shouldn’t) depend in any way of the local government -- possibly it can be viewed differently from a culture to another but that’s a cultural question not related to censorship.

Moreover it would be a censorship practice close to the Ministry of Truth in 1984 where the newspapers are re-printed afterwards to modify the past History.

~ Seb35

Le mercredi 5 mars 2014 05:37:25 (CET), Todd Allen <>
a écrit :
Exactly this.

If the government of any given country wants to redirect certain articles, or all of Wikipedia, to a page saying "This content blocked by the Ministry
of Knowledge", people will know they're being censored. If instead they
reach a "sanitized" version of the article reflecting the government's
preferred spin, we're putting that government's spin in our voice. That's
not at all acceptable.

Let them censor, let them make it obvious, and let them deal with the
fallout. But we should absolutely not help them in any way whatsoever.

On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 9:30 PM, Austin Hair <> wrote:

I think that if you stop to think about it another way, you'll find
that this would do the opposite of what you intend, to wit: allowing
"various courts" to impose editorial control.

Imagine Circletine, once a popular childhood beverage but now the
issue of some controversy regarding its tendency to cause tooth loss.
Although banned from sale in Europe and the United States, an
aggressive marketing campaign has made it the best-selling soft drink
in the nation of Elbonia. Equally aggressive lobbying in the Elbonian
parliament has resulted it in being a crime to disparage Circletine in
any way, or even to mention the controversy in print.

And so we have our article:

'''Circletine''' is a <bannedin
country="elbonia">controversial</bannedin> milk flavoring product made
from malt extract, curds, and whey, <bannedin
country="elbonia">once</bannedin> extremely popular worldwide

<bannedin country="elbonia">Although it enjoyed several decades of
success as an inexpensive beverage marketed mostly for children,
concerns over an increased risk of tooth loss led to its withdrawal
from sale in most western countries.</bannedin>

(I think you can see where this is going.)

Censorship is awful, but partial censorship is worse than simply
saying "I'm not allowed to talk about it. Ask your government why."


On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 9:50 PM, Yuri <> wrote:
> I submitted the proposal to be able to eliminate certain parts of the
> articles in certain countries, where the local governments find those
> illegal:
> But it got rejected, and I am not sure I am clear why.
> The problem is that there are countries that lack the freedom of speech
> (most of the countries), and some of them get very aggressive about
> materials that most reasonable people wouldn't find objectionable. The
> recent example, provided in the bug report above, is banning of any
> references of Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" in Russia. While this case
> may seem not as important, but I don't see why users outside Russia
> be affected by such decision, when they may not even support any
> or values of the said government. Yet, everybody's version of wikipedia
> is affected, and materials are hidden.
> My suggestion, if implemented, would allow to hide certain parts of the
> articles in the country (or area) of jurisdiction of the corresponding
> court, while allowing users not living there to still see the original
> version.
> If such governments get their way in banning materials globally, this
> effectively make wikipedia biased, and reflecting various POVs of various
> courts, which has never been intended by wikipedia.
> Yuri
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