Wikipedia blocked by some Thai ISPs-FACT exclusive
October 22, 2008
Wikipedia blocked by some Thai ISPs
A FACT reader reports:
The English Wikipedia page on King Bhumibol Adulyadej (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej) has been blocked by some ISPs, apparently since 1 October (see discussion at http://www.suanboard.net/view.php?p=view&kid=52584, also at the Thai Wikipedia at http://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%A7%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%9E%E0%B8%B5%E0%B9%80%E0%B8%94%E0%B8%B5%E0%B8%A2:%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%A0%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%81%E0%B8%B2%E0%B9%81%E0%B8%9F_(%E0%B8%88%E0%B8%B4%E0%B8%9B%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%96%E0%B8%B0)#.E0.B9.81.E0.B8.9A.E0.B8.99.3F). Viewers are directed to the page at http://w3.mict.go.th/. As noted in the discussions, it is possible to access the page via Wikipedia redirects e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rama_IX or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol.
This is quite ironic, given that Wikipedia has a neutral point of view policy, and the article is a featured article, meaning that it has been reviewed for accuracy, neutrality, completeness, and style, and is considered one of Wikipedia’s best articles. Granted, some recent edits may have diminished the article’s quality, but since Wikipedia is an open encyclopaedia, everyone (MICT staff included) is encouraged to edit and correct the articles, especially if they feel the current content is inaccurate or libellous. (But then again, perhaps accuracy and neutrality aren’t what they had in mind.)
This move by MICT to block specifically educational websites, especially one as large as Wikipedia, currently the seventh most-visited website globally according to Alexa, is interesting, especially when compared to the recent report (http://www.matichon.co.th/matichon/view_news.php?newsid=01p0118151051§ionid=0101&day=2008-10-15) of the very low percentage of Thai youth who peruse the internet for educational purposes.
Also, a preview of “The King Never Smiles” (http://books.google.com/books?id=d75WYMdp8-0C) has been available on Google Books for some time (a few months) now. Strangely, nobody seems to be bothering to block it.