China’s Great Firewall has been operational since the 1990s. Up until around 2009, I preferred to call it the Net Nanny because the internet blocks felt like an inconvenience that only affected small parts of the internet, rather than being the hermetic seal that Great Wall imagery suggests. In the years since 2009, China’s internet blocks and controls have intensified with each passing month, and the “Great Firewall” has seemed increasingly apposite.
However, until recently, there was one website whose treatment has confounded my expectations: Many parts of Wikipedia’s sprawling online presence remained accessible. Of course, that had to end. The BBC reports on a statement from the organization that runs Wikipedia:
In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China. After closely analyzing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions.