Wikipedia is down and out, Jimmy Wales is miserable
A couple of days ago, access from Turkey to the world’s biggest and most comprehensive Internet encyclopedia was blocked.
Wikipedia was launched by Jimmy Wales in 2001 aimed at free information-sharing open to everybody. It is a free online encyclopedia, a non-profit that theoretically allows anyone with Internet access to edit articles.
It became a website that enabled the free spread of information and knowledge that we humans have accumulated as a whole, and was an instant success.
Before long, it became perhaps the number one source of knowledge in Turkey, as in the rest of the world.
Of course, debates were also stirred. It is not possible to say “Whatever Wikipedia says is the truth.” My own page, for example, says I have published books but in fact I have never published my own book, apart from a couple of jointly written titles.
This wrong information is not about to change the course of world history or cause the masses to take to the streets. I always think, “If I ever feel in the mood to write to Wikipedia they will probably correct it.”
Personally, I have always made good use of Wikipedia. If I am planning to use information I found on Wikipedia in my column, I always cross-check it from other sources, but Wikipedia is certainly a valuable source.
Banning Wikipedia, a website that aims only to achieve “free information” is the honor of our country.
Several rumors are circulating about why exactly the authorities banned it. It has been suggested that the decision was made because of certain articles that listed Turkey as a country that supports terrorism or terrorist groups.
I don’t know if that is the case. If that rumor is true, perhaps the authorities could have tried to just block access to these articles?
But instead they have taken the shortcut and banned the entire site totally.
What’s more, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, was due to attend a conference in Istanbul later this month. However, he has just had his invitation withdrawn.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had arranged a conference on May 15-18 on smart cities, titled “World Cities Expo Istanbul 2017.”
Wales was due to appear among the participants of this international meeting, sharing his views, visions and ideas.
The Wikipedia founder is regarded as one of the handful of “Internet elites” who is always near the top in lists of the world’s most influential people. Just last week he said they were planning to found a new news website called “Wikitribune.”
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s (İBB) statement about the withdrawn invitation to Wales simply read as follows: “Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has been withdrawn from the invitee list of the World Cities Expo event and he has been respectfully informed of this decision.”
This must be a new peak in communication management and public relations. This must be a new phase in astonishing humanity.
This adds another notch to the already existing record of censoring, banning and blocking access to a website.
Dear İBB, couldn’t you have explained what your problem was directly to Jimmy Wales?
Bravo, İBB. By banning the renowned founder of a now banned website, you have done a superb job and made us all proud.
“Smart city” indeed...
Keep up the good work…