Russia Clones Wikipedia, Censors It, Bans Original

Article by Jules Roscoe: “Russia has replaced Wikipedia with a state-sponsored encyclopedia that is a clone of the original Russian Wikipedia but which conveniently has been edited to omit things that could cast the Russian government in poor light. Real Russian Wikipedia editors used to refer to the real Wikipedia as Ruwiki; the new one is called Ruviki, has “ruwiki” in its url, and has copied all Russian-language Wikipedia articles and strictly edited them to comply with Russian laws. 

The new articles exclude mentions of “foreign agents,” the Russian government’s designation for any person or entity which expresses opinions about the government and is supported, financially or otherwise, by an outside nation. Prominent “foreign agents” have included a foundation created by Alexei Navalny, a famed Russian opposition leader who died in prison in February, and Memorial, an organization dedicated to preserving the memory of Soviet terror victims, which was liquidated in 2022. The news was first reported by Novaya Gazeta, an independent Russian news outlet that relocated to Latvia after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. It was also picked up by Signpost, a publication that follows Wikimedia goings-on.

Both Ruviki articles about these agents include disclaimers about their status as foreign agents. Navalny’s article states he is a “video blogger” known for “involvement in extremist activity or terrorism.” It is worth mentioning that his wife, Yulia Navalnaya, firmly believes he was killed. …(More)”.

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