April 09, 2023

Is Wikipedia Next?


Is Wikipedia Next?
Wikipedia page in Russian. Hakerishka | TechKnowlege, Youtube

Roskomnadzor, the federal service that supervises communications in Russia, recently ordered the deletion of 133 Wikipedia pages, claiming the website was anti-Russian and "fake news" for publishing articles containing facts about the war in Ukraine. Now, government and judiciary officials are discussing a possible ban on the online encyclopedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the supervisory organization of Wikipedia, has battled courts in Russia over claims of discrediting the army and feykov (fake news) since June 2022. On April 6, Wikimedia Foundation was fined 800 thousand rubles (USD $9,864), and it has amassed a total of R10 million (USD $123,305) in fines to date.

Isvestia reported that Wikipedia could be the latest non-Russian site to be blocked in the country, and there's little domestic alternative. According to Isvestia, experts estimate Russian versions of online encyclopedias like RuniversalisBolshaya Rossyskaya Entsiklopedia (The Great Russian Encyclopedia), and Znanie (Knowledge) will only begin to compete with Wikipedia in a few years. 

During the war, the Wikimedia Foundation translated Wikipedia articles on Ukrainian culture into 60 languages. It also reported stories of Ukrainians editing Wikipedia pages while being shelled. 

The Wikimedia Foundation will face Russian courts again on April 13.

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