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This afternoon the Wikimedia Foundation announced that the Internet Watch Foundation has taken Wikipedia off of the United Kingdom internet ‘blacklist.’  We’re very pleased with this development, and happy that editing and viewing in the United Kingdom is returning to normal.

We’d like to thank the thousands of Wikipedia supporters who have spoken out about this situation or taken the time to contact us with their concerns.  We’re thankful as well to the IWF for acting quickly to resolve the block.

This weekend has seen quite a bit of coverage of an unfortunate situation for Wikipedia users in the United Kingdom.  The Internet Watch Foundation, a UK-based self-regulatory body, has taken action to block access to specific Wikipedia content in the UK, and in turn has caused a major issue for the UK Wikipedia community.  The censoring has dramatically affected the way UK traffic is handled by Wikipedia, and in short, about 95% of the UK is barred from editing Wikipedia.

This is particularly bad news for the entire Wikipedia project and the millions of users from around the world who visit Wikipedia every day.  On the English Wikipedia alone edits and contributions from the UK account for at least 25% of overall editing activity.

The Wikimedia Foundation has distributed this statement to the press and internally among its global community of volunteers to explain the situation and the reasons behind the blocks in the UK.  We’ve also prepared a series of Questions and Answers.

We are hopeful that discussions with the IWF will continue, and that all actions and measures against Wikipedia in the UK will be suspended.  Please share your support for Wikipedia and let others know how you feel about this situation.

Thanks,

Jay Walsh, Head of Communications