ArchivedSeptember 13 2022, 14:48 pm

Russian Wikipedia Analog Not Doing Well

The Dig­i­tal Foren­sic Research Lab (DFRL), a project of the Atlantic Coun­cil, is report­ing that Russ­ian attempts to launch a Russ­ian ana­log of Wikipedia are not going well. Accord­ing to the DFLR report:

Runi­ver­salis (руни.рф), a new­ly launched Russ­ian ana­log of the inter­net ency­clo­pe­dia Wikipedia, is an attempt to spread Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da and dis­in­for­ma­tion in the guise of a wiki. Beyond using the under­ly­ing soft­ware archi­tec­ture employed by Wikipedia, it’s a wiki in name only. Since Russia’s Feb­ru­ary 2022 re-inva­sion of Ukraine, Moscow has dou­bled downed on cen­sor­ship and its assault on free speech in an attempt to pre­vent fac­tu­al infor­ma­tion about the war from spread­ing to domes­tic audi­ences. The Krem­lin has banned and blocked West­ern web­sites and social media plat­forms, and passed a law that impris­ons a per­son for shar­ing “fake” con­tent about Russ­ian troops, among oth­er mea­sures. Despite these efforts, some West­ern plat­forms like YouTube remain avail­able in Rus­sia, while Russ­ian cit­i­zens rou­tine­ly employ vir­tu­al pri­vate net­works (VPNs) to bypass offi­cial restric­tions and access con­tent in the West. Wikipedia is among the online plat­forms that Rus­sia has threat­ened to silence. In the spring of 2022, Russ­ian cen­sor Roskom­nad­zor fined Wikipedia RUB 4,000,000 (around USD $66,000) for not delet­ing arti­cles about Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da refers to as a “spe­cial mil­i­tary oper­a­tion.” On July 20, Roskom­nad­zor oblig­ed Russ­ian search engines to “inform” users that Wikipedia vio­lates Russ­ian leg­is­la­tion. Amid Russia’s attempts to silence Wikipedia with­in the coun­try, a new Telegram chan­nel named Runi­ver­salis (Руниверсалис) announced the launch of the project. The August 18 announce­ment includ­ed the mot­to, “Runi­ver­salis — the ency­clo­pe­dia of com­mon sense.” The authors of the announce­ment claimed to be “for­mer edi­tors and admin­is­tra­tors of Wikipedia.”

Read the rest here.

In April 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on a study about Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion out­lets cit­ed on Wikipedia.


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