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20 Jul, 2022 13:19

Wikipedia designated as lawbreaker

Russia wants its search engines to inform users that the platform promotes false information about the Ukraine conflict
Wikipedia designated as lawbreaker

Russia's state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has obliged search engines to label Wikipedia as being in violation of the law, saying that the online encyclopedia promotes misleading information about the conflict in Ukraine.

The watchdog said on Wednesday that it would take steps to punish Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., which hosts Wikipedia, due to its failure to delete content deemed in violation of Russian law. With this in mind, the regulator “has decided to apply a coercive measure which would see search engines inform internet users about a violation of Russian legislation by a foreign entity.”

According to Roskomnadzor, the measure will apply until the company is in full compliance with national law.

In April, Russia slapped two fines totaling 5 million rubles (some $86,500 at the current exchange rate) on Wikimedia Commons for failing to delete a number of articles. Most of them were classified by the court as pieces spreading misinformation about the Russian military and its actions during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, while two contained information on making explosives.

In early March, Russia adopted a law that allows the authorities to impose substantial fines on persons and entities for discrediting the Russian armed forces or calling for sanctions against Moscow. If an offense leads to “grave consequences,” the perpetrator may face a prison sentence of up to 15 years.