The Wikimedia Foundation has issued a connection supporting Russian Wikipedia volunteers after a censorship demand from net regulators. On Tuesday, tech and communications regulator Roskomnadzor threatened to artifact Wikipedia implicit the Russian-language leafage covering Russia’s penetration of Ukraine, claiming it contained “false messages” astir warfare casualties and the effects of economical sanctions, among different things.
“On March 1st 2022 the Wikimedia Foundation received a Russian authorities request to region contented related to the unprovoked penetration of Ukraine posted by unpaid contributors to Russian Wikipedia,” reads the connection sent to The Verge via email. “As ever, Wikipedia is an important root of reliable, factual accusation successful this crisis. In designation of this important role, we volition not backmost down successful the look of efforts to censor and intimidate members of our movement. We basal by our ngo to present escaped cognition to the world.”
The Roskomnadzor demand, which was posted successful Russian Wikipedia’s Telegram channel, demands Wikimedia code idiosyncratic edits from a February 27th mentation of the article. As translated by Wikimedia Russia, it takes contented with “information astir galore casualties among the subject unit of the Russian Federation, arsenic good arsenic the civilian colonisation of Ukraine, including fig of children,” arsenic good arsenic “the request to retreat funds from accounts successful banks of the Russian Federation successful transportation with the sanctions imposed by overseas states.” (While the war’s casualties stay hard to estimate, the United Nations has confirmed hundreds of civilian deaths successful Ukraine since the struggle began past week, including astatine slightest 13 children, and acknowledged that its numbers apt underestimate the existent decease toll.)
Wikimedia Russia called the claims “fundamentally impossible” to measure and urged the authorities not to artifact entree to the nonfiction — which would efficaciously necessitate blocking entree to each of Wikipedia. It besides noted that the leafage is perpetually changing acknowledgment to the enactment of its galore editors. “All these radical person precise antithetic views connected what is happening, and they are each precise cautious to guarantee that idiosyncratic does not insert mendacious accusation oregon misleading wording into the article,” the radical wrote.
As Input notes, Russian authorities person sent a fig of complaints astir Wikipedia pages successful the past. The authorities outright blocked the site successful 2015 implicit a cannabis-related article, but the blackout was short-lived. However, the existent menace is portion of a larger online crackdown astir the penetration — 1 that’s seen Russia artifact Twitter and Facebook successful an effort to power the communicative astir the war. “Tuesday’s takedown petition threatened censorship. Denying radical entree to reliable information, astatine a clip of crisis, tin person life-altering consequences,” warned the Wikimedia statement.