The online encyclopedia is now hidden behind the Great Firewall.

Language Barrier

Wikipedia is no longer welcome in China.

On May 4, an internet censorship initiative called the Open Observatory of Network Interference reported that China had extended its ban of the free online encyclopedia to include all available languages, not just the Chinese version.

And on Tuesday, the Wikimedia foundation confirmed the Wikipedia ban with BBC News — meaning China has made it completely illegal for citizens to access one of the internet's most extensive sources of information.

Shock Block

The ban apparently came as a surprise to Wikimedia, which told BBC News it received "no notice" of China's plans.

"In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China," the foundation wrote in a statement to BBC News. "After closely analysing our internal traffic reports, we can confirm that Wikipedia is currently blocked across all language versions."

Controlling Relationship

The Chinese government has long attempted to control what citizens could see and say online, but the nation's censorship efforts have ramped up considerably since the 2012 election of President Xi Jinping.

Today, citizens can't use certain words online, and Wikipedia joins a list of about 10,000 sites that are outright banned.

That list of banned sites includes Google, Facebook, and yes, even BBC News — meaning there's a good chance the people of China might never even know their government has decided to put one of the internet's preeminent sources of free information behind its Great Firewall.

READ MORE: Wikipedia blocked in China in all languages [BBC News]

More on censorship: China Is Trying to Scrub Bikinis and Smoking From the Internet

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