Wikipedia Owner Fined for Failing to Delete Alleged Extremist Content

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The Wikimedia Basis, proprietor of the web encyclopedia Wikipedia, was fined by a Russian courtroom on Thursday for failing to delete content material thought-about extremist as Moscow pursues a drive to crack down on impartial sources of knowledge.

Wikipedia, which says it provides “the second draft of historical past”, is without doubt one of the few surviving fact-checked sources of knowledge in Russian for the reason that crackdown intensified after Moscow despatched its armed forces into Ukraine in February 2022.

The Tagansky district courtroom mentioned it had fined Wikimedia RUB 800,000 (practically Rs. 8 lakh). Russian information businesses within the courtroom mentioned Wikimedia had been charged with failing to take away supplies associated to a track by the choice rock band Psychea, or Psyshit, which has been formally designated “extremist”.

Russia has now fined Wikimedia round RUB 9 million (practically Rs. 90 lakh) up to now 12 months, the businesses mentioned.

Wikimedia didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

The muse’s Russia chapter has beforehand mentioned it believes different fines could also be overturned, however that the variety of circumstances towards it might improve, given the variety of articles on Wikipedia in regards to the battle.

Russia has for years sought to launch a home-grown on-line encyclopedia, with no tangible end result up to now.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned on Tuesday {that a} Russian analogue was “completely crucial”.

“It might include actually verified and correct info, goal info,” he mentioned, “as a result of we all know that Wikipedia has many distortions, very many untruths, very many historic, factual and different errors.”

Russian home tech firms, led by entities managed or related to the state-owned gasoline big Gazprom, have been sensing alternatives in Russia’s rising digital isolation as international web corporations are blocked or stop Russia.

However whereas Moscow has restricted entry to Twitter and to Meta Platforms’ flagships Fb and Instagram, Wikipedia stays freely accessible.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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