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Wales in China; #Edit2015

Jimmy Wales discussing Internet censorship in China at Wikimania 2012

Jimmy Wales was one of the attendees at the second annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen. Given the state of Internet censorship in China, a number of groups called for boycotting the conference, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders. Charlie Smith of GreatFire, an organization devoted to monitoring and opposing Chinese Internet censorship, told The Hill that conference attendees "should be ashamed of themselves". (In September, Smith published an interview with Wales.) Representatives from Western technology companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, Netflix, and LinkedIn were in attendance, but heads of state from the West were absent, and reporters from the New York Times were banned. Of the heads of state or government leaders in attendance – Dmitry Medvedev (Russia), Nawaz Sharif and Mamnoon Hussain (Pakistan), Karim Massimov (Kazakhstan), Temir Sariyev (Kyrgyzstan), Kokhir Rasulzoda (Tajikistan), Rustam Azimov (Uzbekistan), and Siaosi Sovaleni (Tonga) – a number were from countries which practice internet censorship themselves.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some of Wales' comments on a December 17 conference panel were altered in a Chinese-language transcript posted online. Wales, an outspoken proponent of free speech and opponent of Chinese censorship of Wikipedia and the Internet, said,

In the Chinese translation, his comments were altered to make it appear he was in favor of Chinese government censorship:

Gizmodo quipped "Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is familiar with people putting made-up bullshit online." G

Wikimedia Foundation releases year in review video


On December 15, the Wikimedia Foundation released its year in review video, #Edit2015, created by Victor Grigas. A blog post announcing the video said "#Edit2015 celebrates the individuals all over the world who’ve invested thousands, if not millions, of hours in curating Wikimedia sites." The video included highlights of world news and cultural events and how Wikipedia and Wikimedia project recorded and responded to those events. Engadget wrote "Wikipedia continues to chronicle human history in real time". Vice reflected that "Maybe that's part of the point of the Wikipedia Foundation's #Edit2015 montage: History is always feeding back through the present. It is always subject to edit." G

Nik Stauskas


  1. ^ 互联网文化与传播论坛:互联网时代文化传承与创新 (in Chinese). 17 December 2015. Event occurs at 147:00. Retrieved 20 December 2015. 我觉得非常难说,很难预测,因为大家都提到了很多很好的观点,可能想到的就是我们会看到能够有更好的这种机器的翻译,这样会更好的提高人员之间的这种交流的效率。还有就是政府能够在各自的领域当中对人们互相之间的沟通进行很好的分析。

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  • Great quote from Giles Coren. It would be interesting to see more of a discussion about the dynamic between knowledge and education and what Wikipedia can do to bridge the gap in the future. Knowledge without education is just data, which is useless. Viriditas (talk) 20:34, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • And even a greater quote from Chinese .translation of Wales. I say it was not a distortion, but rather a Freudian slip :-) - üser:Altenmann >t 20:43, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    • Kazakh premier Karim Massimov, who attended the conference in China, also makes an appearance in this ongoing discussion on Jimmy Wales' talk page. This goes back to the jaw-dropping episode where Wales awarded the inaugural "Wikipedian of the Year" award to the functionary running Wikibilim's Kazakh Wikipedia project, which, "under the auspices of the Government of Kazakhstan and with the support of Prime Minister Karim Massimov", completely overhauled the Kazakh Wikipedia and imported the state-published Kazakh National Encyclopedia's content into it. Wales said at Wikimania 2012 that he would go to Kazakhstan, a country labouring under one of the most repressive dictatorships in the world, to "give the award in the presence of the President and Prime Minister" ( time code 23:45 onward). The present discussion was sparked by Kazakhstan's efforts to replicate China's Great Firewall, as discussed in the New York Times. Andreas JN466 21:36, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Regarding Jimmy Wales in China. Result as expected, but is boycot the answer? I can not see that much has come out of various boycots over the years. So I don't support shaming of people for going this or that place, the important thing is that they support freedom of speech, as Jimmy Wales clearly do. Ulflarsen (talk) 22:00, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Jimbo even going to the conference is naivete and delusion in the extreme. Nothing will change, with or without Jimbo. He just let himself be exploited by the Chinese government for their own ends.—azuki (talk · contribs · email) 23:23, 19 December 2015 (UTC) (edited 23:23, 19 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Please remember that the translation was made on-site by a simultaneous translator while Jimbo was speaking, not after the conference. In the official video I have cited in the article, the simultaneous interpreter clearly stuck for a moment thinking how to translate the the comment. To AGF, I'd say that the translator may have missed what Jimbo said and attempted to deduce his meaning from what she had heard. By the way, feel free to edit my reference if it doesn't meet Signpost's house style. Zhaofeng Li [talkcontribs] 05:16, 20 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Jayen466: Thank you for making the change. However, I still think the current headline implies that the translation has been changed ("edited") since the conference was over, which is not true (or at least unproven). Maybe something like Wales' comments on censorship in China mistranslated is more neutral? Additionally, the body content may also need editing to be reflect this. Zhaofeng Li [talkcontribs] 15:26, 20 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]


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