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Russian Government threatens Wikimedia about banning it from the country, and here’s everything you need know about it

A statement was issued by Wikimedia in support of volunteers of Russian descent after the Russian censorship boards threaten to ban Wikipedia if the site doesn’t take down the information regarding casualties of the Russian army or war crimes of the current ongoing amid Ukrainian-Russian conflict. Roskomnadzor, the Russian censorship agency threatened to block Wikipedia through Telegram last Tuesday because of the news article related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, stating that the article is spreading false information.

The Russian government issued a message to Wikimedia demanding the article to be taken down. Wikipedia is one of the most reliable hubs of information and data on the internet. Recognizing the important role it plays, Wikipedia says that it won’t back off even if it’s threatened to be censored, Wikipedia will continue delivering knowledge around the globe.

The demand was made through a Telegram, in the message; Russian authorities raised issues about the information on the casualties of the Russian soldiers or Ukrainian civilians. The UN confirmed the death of hundreds of civilians including the death of thirteen children.

The Russian chapter of Wikimedia has requested the government not to block the content since that would result in blocking access to the whole Wikipedia site. The article is seeing rapid changes being made, especially because of the different opinions of the editors. The group stated that everyone involved had their own different point of view on the situation. The group is also making sure that no false information is inserted in the article.

In the past, the Russian government has sent numerous complaints about Wikipedia. Even blocking the page in 2015; when Roskomnadzor demanded Wikipedia to remove a page that had information about ‘charas’ which is a form of cannabis. According to the authorities, the page had information about the preparation of the drug however Wikipedia denied the request which resulted in Roskomnadzor censoring Wikipedia. The ban on Wikipedia was lifted shortly after the page having the information about cannabis was edited.

But the current situation might take longer than the last conflict faced since the Russian government has banned both Meta and Twitter in the crackdown to control the information being passed around during the current conflict.


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