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Wed 3 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

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Qatar Wikipedia ban a temporary move

Web encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which blocked anonymous Qatari editors from posting on its site for 12 hours on Tuesday, has confirmed that this policy was only temporary and not an intentional country-wide ban.

Web encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which blocked anonymous Qatari editors from posting on its site for 12 hours on Tuesday, has confirmed that this policy was only temporary and not an intentional country-wide ban.

The 12-hour ban on unregistered Wikipedia users posting to the site via the IP address 82.148.97.69 was brought into effect as a result of internet vandalism and spamming by some Qatari users, according to Wikipedia’s official online explanation.

(According to a related BBC News report, these problems related to specific web pages covering the US, sex and the birthday of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh).)

Because internet access in Qatar is currently offered by only one ISP – the country’s incumbent telco Qtel, this IP number block is thought to have hit large numbers of users, however an actual figure has not yet been confirmed.

The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, commented in writing on the stoppage online, saying, "This IP (internet protocol) number was temporarily blocked for less than 12 hours, and a block of an entire nation would go absolutely against Wikipedia policy."

Wikipedia recommends that users interested in posting articles or comments to the site register. “To the anon-users of Qatar (who are innocent), please register in (become a registered user). Perhaps, in future a requirement of all users to register will be a solution to cutting down vandalism,” explained an official post on Wikipedia’s

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