Cuba Tries To Create Its Own Wikipedia, But Might Have Difficulty Seeing It As It Blocks Internet Access

from the not-much-of-a-community dept

A few months back, we reported that Fidel Castro had apparently become a big fan of the internet, now that he's "retired" and spends a lot of time surfing the web. It wouldn't surprise me if that's part of the reason that Cuba is apparently trying to launch its own sort-of Wikipedia -- but which you can only edit after an "administrator" approves your edits. In other words: don't expect much editing. Of course, we've also noted how it's almost impossible for regular Cuban citizens to access the internet with any speed or regularity, so it would seem that the community of folks who might be most interested in this won't actually be able to use it. In the end, that's what this effort seems to be missing. Wikipedia works because it's a community effort. But Cuba's attempt appears to be more about a top down approach -- which probably isn't surprising, but might make the project much less likely to succeed.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Joseph K (profile), Dec 14th, 2010 @ 11:04pm


    Does it seem ironic that a communist country has a really hard time doing genuinely communal projects, like wikipedia, or other crowd-sourcing efforts? There's probably a lesson somewhere in here about what is purported to promote cooperation and what actually promotes cooperation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    BruceLD, Dec 14th, 2010 @ 11:04pm


    Fidel can suck it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    beckerist (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:26am


    Substitute Cuba for China...I'm just WAITING for a similar story to erupt, and have it fail magnificently. As much as I'd love for free speech or the flow of free ideas to happen in any of these places, so long as it's restricted, it will never happen.

    The top down approach might work in theory (for those at the top.) Eventually it will cause more "problems" than solutions and in the end will be abandoned or worse, be a grand excuse for incarceration for those that choose to participate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    A little fun

    I say we flood it with all kinds of information. Nothing wrong or in any way about Cuba, but just random scientific information. Give it the community that it needs to be a Wiki, but can't handle due to the top down approach.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Joe Mojito, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:34am

    An interesting idea

    Do you think I would get honorary citizenship if I got in first with a solid "honest" article about the wisdom and greatness of Fidel?

    What if they were just a bunch of copy/pasted/edited Chuck Norris jokes?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    Oliver Stone

    Will prolly get a bunch of new movie ideas from a Cuba Wiki.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    "Will prolly get a bunch of new movie ideas from a Cuba Wiki."

    He doesn't nee to. There's enough ammunition available from your Masters at Fox.

    Cuba's internet is like a parody of AOL, which was itself a parody of the real internet. Or like a low-tech iPad where Steve Castro decides what's in and what's not. That puts Cubans surfers in line with Apple fanboys. Although by force.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mikey, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 8:24am

    Cuban life

    A Cuban friend would talk about Castro's famous all day speeches. He said it was always a "good idea" to go, because they kept track of who attended and who didn't. He also said it was nothing but Castro bragging about all the good he has done. My friends comment was you didn't need someone telling you how good things are, if it is good the people will see it. If it is bad telling people that it is good doesn't make you look any better. I imagine the Cuban wikipedia will be the same, a web page dedicated to telling the people how great everything is when they can look around and really see if it is good or not.
    He came to the US in 2000, the black market is huge. He had a hidden directTV satellite dish/receiver his family would watch along with a black market DVD and all sorts of DVDs. I don't know the common person would access the internet although I am sure that the technical and government officials have access.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Michael, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:39am


    I always get full internet access from my hotel rooms in Cuba... its my favorite vacation spot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Ron Rezendes (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Re: China

    It's very similar to trickle down economics in the US...
    If you're at the top it seems that everything is just fine, if you are anywhere below that you realize you're just getting pissed on - hence the title "trickle down economics" which should be called "Piss on the rest of you!" economics. A theory/practice used by those who have their pockets lined by those with the most money (entertainment/media corporations).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Andrew, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: China

    Are you really comparing Cuba's economic policies to the United States' economic policies?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Len, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 4:28pm

    Failed before it even started.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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