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I’M AL GORE, AND GOOBNET WILL ALWAYS WIN THE POPULAR VOTE

WEEKLY WHINE

Break the Internet and stump Edvard

Earlier this weekend, Turkey blocked Wikipedia, part of president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s crackdown on independent thought. Other actions undertaken this week include arrests of about a thousand police officers, suspensions of another nine thousand, and sackings of another four thousand public officials. Most importantly, the government has also banned dating shows from Turkish television.

This, of course, means the end of GoobNet’s Hyperspeed Dating Turkey. It had a good run of zero episodes, but with this government decree, we must regrettably pull the plug on Hyperspeed Dating Turkey, which was a very entertaining and informative programme that was totally not designed to bring down the Turkish government by transmitting subliminal messages whilst it pairs together young Turkish men and women. Any suggestions to the contrary are merely the wild rantings of someone who is merely bitter that his preferred candidate did not win the Internet voting.

Of course, Turkey is not the only place where access to Wikipedia or the rest of the Internet is restricted. This is a common problem throughout Earth, so much so that our very own “Dynamite Eating” Edvard van de Kamp has received a number of questions about how to stifle independent thought by limiting access to the Internet. We now provide Edvard’s responses to these questions. We hope this helps you reach a higher state of enlightenment.


Dear Edvard: Should I block Wikipedia in Turkey, or just edit every page to take out all the terrorist stuff?

– Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ankara, Turkey

Dear Recep: You should do neither. Instead, you should come to terms with the fact that most people who happen to disagree with you are not a threat to the stability of your country. You should also come to terms with the fact that the phrase “terrorist stuff” does not mean what you think it means.


Dear Edvard: Ever since Wikipedia began using secure HTTP, we are no longer able to block individual pages on Wikipedia. But if we block Wikipedia entirely, that will solve all of our problems, right?

– Muhammad Mulla
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Dear Muhammad: No.


Dear Edvard: I recently viewed the Wikipedia article about human rights in Turkmenistan. It contains many falsehoods about Turkmenistan, such as claims that censorship is “ubiquitous and extensive” and that Turkmenistan is an “internet enemy”. Obviously the irresponsible people who put those falsehoods on Wikipedia must learn a lesson. Should I arrest them and torture them until they confess, or should I just put them in a cell until everyone forgets about them?

– Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Dear Gurbanguly: You should do neither. Instead, you should stop all political persecution, you should release all political prisoners, and you should make unfiltered access to the Internet available to all citizens. Even better, you should resign in favour of someone who will do all of these things.


Dear Edvard: Our use of proxy servers has been very effective. We now have the usernames and passwords of many people who have attempted to use Wikipedia in Cuba. Should we tell these people that we know what they are doing online, or should we just change their passwords without their knowledge, thereby locking them out of their own accounts?

– Raúl Castro
Havana, Cuba

Dear Raúl: You should do neither. Instead, you should dismantle all proxy servers, you should destroy all usernames and passwords you have intercepted, you should notify everyone whose usernames and passwords you have intercepted, and you should fly all of them to a different country so that they may change their passwords at a neutral venue that is free from surveillance.


Dear Edvard: Everything that is happening today proves that when governments fail to regulate the Internet, unscrupulous actors simply use it to their own advantage. By restricting access, we are making the Internet safer for everyone.

– Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Cairo, Egypt

Dear Abdel: Sure, if by “making the Internet safer for everyone”, you mean “fostering resentment that will come crashing down on you in a wave of protest because your citizens are humans whose thoughts cannot be policed”.


Dear Edvard: What steps should I take to prevent the spread of misinformation on Wikipedia? I want to ban it, but I feel like that’s more trouble than it’s worth.

– Trần Đại Quang
Hanoi, Vietnam

Dear Trần: It is.


Dear Edvard: We have nearly completed our project to make our own Internet free from foreign influence, where everyone will be free to share their thoughts and ideas in a manner consistent with the revolution.

– Hassan Rouhani
Tehran, Iran

Dear Hassan: My thoughts and ideas on this matter are indeed consistent with the revolution. But I don’t think you’re going to want to know which revolution.


Dear Edvard: Why am I writing to you? Haven’t we blocked GoobNet yet?

– Xi Jinping
Beijing, China PR

Dear Jinping: Good question. I am surprised that you are aware of our existence.

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