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Hong Kong to host Wikimania 2013

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By Jan eissfeldt

Hong Kong to host Wikimania 2013

Banner of the Hong Kong bid for Wikimania 2013.

The Wikimania 2013 jury announced this week that the ninth global community conference will be held in Hong Kong next year.

Wikimania is the annual conference for the international Wikimedia community. It is organised by community members and held every July or August in locations as diverse as Germany, Taiwan, Egypt, and Argentina. The conference features presentations on Wikimedia projects and fellow open-content projects, open-source software, and the social and technical aspects of our work. The first Wikimania was held in 2005, while the most recent was in Haifa, Israel in August 2011 (Signpost coverage); the next will be in Washington DC in July 2012.

The Hong Kong bid team, formed from the local community and backed by the local Wikimedia chapter, beat four other bids: London, Bristol, Naples and Surakarta, Indonesia. Details of the process are available on Meta, including minutes of the public meetings, along with the judging criteria.

While China is not listed on the priority list of Wikimedia's strategic areas to increase participation, the Hong Kong bid team made a different case. The team argued that a Wikimania in the city state would strengthen ties among Asian Wikimedia communities, improve regional co-operation in Greater China, and raise awareness for a sensitive handling of community and political issues related to the Chinese mainland and the Chinese language projects such as Cantonese.

Changes related to the organization of the Wikimania conference are coming up as well. Since its inception, the conference format has been organised through an ad hoc group of long-standing community members, Wikimedia Foundation and chapter staff, and former organizers. A discussion is currently underway on Meta on replacing this approach with a more community-led, open process, while continuing expert support from the movement for the organizers of each conference.

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PLEASE NOTE the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is NOT under the same regime as the People's Republic of China. The Internet in Hong Kong is not filtered through the Great Firewall and is considered very free access. -- Fuzheado | Talk 15:55, 10 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Funny the announcement about the location of Wikimania 2013 comes at the same time as this AN thread (read the whole thing). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:05, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • Let me be the first to say that I will not be attending Wikimania 2013 unless the host government first removes internet restrictions that prevent almost all potential contributors from adding to many pages. I'm sure some people think this is a minor issue - I have helped a well known editor overcome this censorship within the last 24 hours, so no it is not a joke. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:01, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Don't hold your breath on that; I've occasionally believed six impossible things before breakfast, but I think even Lewis Carroll, were he alive today, would find that too implausible an example. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:05, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    I guess you'll be there, or I guess you can't explain what you mean. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:11, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    What I mean is, if your plan to go there is contingent on their lifting of censorship laws, I wouldn't count on going. Incidentally, there's no way I'd be able to go; even on the off-chance I could get a scholarship I'm loathe to leave the New York area behind and miss my baseball. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:17, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    The Great Firewall of China doesn't apply in Hong Kong... -- KTC (talk) 13:13, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Thanks KTC for jumping in before me :)
    On the other hand, this seems to be a bit of a tradition: around this time last year there was a discussion about schoolblock-ing all of Georgetown University where Wikimania 2012 will be hosted. Deryck C. 16:45, 8 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm not sure where Demiurge1000 gets his facts about China, but having recently spent a semester in Beijing, I can tell you from personal experience that I didn't have any trouble editing Wikipedia when I was able to access it. I did however have trouble accessing it in the first place; it, along with many Western sites, would go down for random 15 minute increments several times a day. Sven Manguard Wha? 20:06, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    From people in China (but not, as pointed out by others above, in Hong Kong) who suffered not only from the "random 15 minute outage" problem, but also (they said) from being barred from even viewing certain specific enwiki pages. (Often for no fathomable reason - the examples they raised weren't pages about democracy or human rights or whatever, for example.) --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:32, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
    Since the Great Firewall re-allowed access to Wikipedia about a year ago, filtering of Wikipedia is done automatically by machines using methods such as keywords. It is therefore unsurprising that false-positives occur, blocking otherwise unsensitive pages for no obvious reason. Deryck C. 22:14, 11 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedians can always help people in this colony to defend their contracting autonomy and civil liberties. And it is indeed a good occassion for Wikipedians to learn about the colonial or territorial status of Hong Kong, that it is separate and distinctive enough from the communist People's Republic. Articles around Wikipedia should be properly corrected to avoid mispresentation of Hong Kong's status. (talk) 11:37, 15 May 2012 (UTC)[reply]


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