Russia Replaces Wikipedia With Its Own State-Sponsored Clone As Censorship Runs Strong

Russia has opted to get rid of the original Wikipedia and instead, launch its own clone variant that portrays the country in a positive light.

The new cloned copy of the popular global encyclopedia features all kinds of content where censorship is running strong. This means there are plenty of edits designed to get rid of things that it feels would portray the nation’s government poorly.

The website entails content designed by editors in the country who must obey stringent laws when it comes to any data published online as the consequences of not following rules can be harsh, to say the least.

The new name for the clone is Ruviki and articles are edited strictly to better comply with laws in the country, as reported by 404Media. This information excludes the names of foreign agents that talk about the government in poor light. Furthermore, any content getting funding from foreign locations would also be barred from being published and those articles featuring controversial stories about the country or its people would certainly have a zero-tolerance policy for publication online.

There are plenty of articles that have been published on the original website that speak about Russian agents and how they were tortured for acts committed but you won’t be seeing such kinds of material on the latest clone as revealed by experts.

For those who might not be aware, Wikimedia RU which is the Russian chapter of a nonprofit that runs across Wikipedia witnessed a shutdown late last year. This is all thanks to the growing amount of political pressure arising from the war in Ukraine. However, the main reason delineated had to do with a lack of neutrality or no reliable content being published online.

But Russia has time and time again mentioned how its goal is to produce reliable information online and it would go to all extents to make sure that happens. However, from what can be seen right now, there’s a serious lack of ownership that remains to be addressed here in terms of just how reliable the articles are as they’re severely edited.

The arrival of this highly censored cloned version of the real Wikipedia is not at all surprising and critics feel it was a long time coming. Remember, for a while now, the original website was said to be anti-Russia and anti-government so a replacement such as this was inevitable.

And now that this has arrived, Wikipedia has been barred across the nation and all articles the country feels are a threat to its security or reputation have therefore been removed or restricted from viewership access.

What is interesting is how one leading graphic designer took part in an experiment to see just how many articles had been edited and how many characters underwent change on this front. And the figures were drastically large, encompassing a staggering 205k edits regarding the freedom to voice one’s thoughts and opinions.

Other than that, 158k changes were made to articles regarding human rights while 96k edits were done to those linked to political prisoners and 71k had to do with material linked to the country’s censorship rules.

The fact that truth is being omitted and the country failed to acknowledge that is a serious concern but it looks like the country and its people see nothing new here as propaganda has been a serious and never-ending issue since day one as the truth rarely ever surfaces in a place like Russian media.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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