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Censorship, social media in schools, and more

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By Sage Ross

Wikinews reports on Australian blocks of parts of Wikileaks and Wikipedia

Earlier this month, Wikipedia was drawn into a dispute over Australian Internet censorship. In an experiment to test the nature and extent of enforcement of the website blacklist maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), activists added a link to a censored site to the ACMA's Wikipedia article, among other legitimate sites. Wikinews covered this in more detail in a March 20 story, "Portions of Wikileaks, Wikipedia blocked in Australia". Wikileaks published an editorial on March 29, "Western internet censorship: The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?", in response to reactions to the publication of blacklists.

Wikipedia and Twitter for England's classrooms?

In England, "Pupils to study Twitter and blogs in primary schools shake-up", The Guardian reports. Draft plans for a revision of primary school curriculum would lessen the requirements for history education and give teacher more flexibility in deciding what to emphasize. The plans also call for children to learn about "blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication".

Wikipedia Revolution spreads

Andrew Lih's The Wikipedia Revolution (ISBN 1401303714) is drawing a considerable amount of media attention. It has been reviewed in several high-profile venues, and this week Lih was interviewed for an article at, "Are we dangerously dependent on Wikipedia?".

The book is also the starting point for a "Week in Review" essay in the New York Times by journalist Noam Cohen, "Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City". Cohen explores the metaphor, discussed in Lih's book, of Wikipedia as a city, where well-trafficked areas are relatively safe and there are always surprises and new developments for visitors to find. Technology writer and social critic Nicholas Carr responded to Cohen's essay with a blog post called "Potemkinpedia". Carr argues that Cohen is too optimistic, and that "Wikipedia has, to play with Cohen's metaphor, erected a lot of police barricades, cordoning off large areas of the site and requiring would-be editors to show their government-issued ID cards before passing through."


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