Ah Wikipedia, where on earth would I be without you? I definitely wouldn’t have passed most of the assessments that have come my way throughout life, that’s for sure. Despite that, we can now add all of Russia to the giant pile of teachers and professors who are telling everyone it’s unreliable.
“As for Wikipedia … it’s better to replace it with the new Big Russian Encyclopaedia in electronic form. At least that will be reliable information, presented in a good, modern way.”
Russia have had problems with Wikipedia before. They went as far as banning the site from the country back in 2015 over an article about charas, an Indian form of hashish. Apparently the article about the drug contained forbidden information, but the attempt to ban the entirety of Wikipedia over it didn’t go down well, and it was restored within 24 hours.
As with anything Russia has ever done, it’s go big or go home. Only two months ago, there was an announcement that a law had been drafted with plans to spend 1.7 billion Russian ruble to actually go through with making this Russian Wikipedia between 2020-2022. So it looks like they’re really going to give it a crack.
More worryingly than any of this though, last Friday a new law came into effect that means the Russian government can disconnect entire parts of the globe from being able to be seen by Russians using the internet.
If they really wanted to, they could entirely isolate Russia from the rest of the world’s internet. Authorities reckon it’s a defence in case of an external attack, but everybody else sees it more as a way to censor information.
If the government ever actually decided to use this new law, then Wikipedia is the least of the Russian people’s worries.