The Russian communications regulator is threatening the Wikipedia encyclopedia with sanctions. She is accused of disinformation, after her refusal to delete “illegal information” about the war in Ukraine. Wikipedia could be fined, in addition to an outright blocking that has threatened the site for several weeks.
According to the media submitted to the Russian government, there is no war in Ukraine. And this despite the images, videos and reports circulating on the Internet, social networks and international television. The sources of information authorized by the Kremlin speak ” of military operations », the only terminology accepted by Roskomnadzor, the famous Russian regulator of technologies and information.
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Since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on the night of February 23-24, 2022, Russia has been doing everything in its power to hide from the locals the reality of the conflict taking place within Ukrainian borders. On March 5, the Duma passed a law authorizing only the use of the term “military operation” to describe the conflict. This law also provides for a penalty of 15 years in prison for anyone who disseminates information discrediting the army.
Also, the Kremlin has started censoring and blocking Internet services. Google News for article aggregators. Instagram and Facebook on the social media side. TikTok has also been lightened by 95% of its content. But it is not finished. One of Roskomnadzor’s favorite targets is currently Wikipedia. The encyclopedia was threatened in early March with blocking by the Kremlin if it does not delete certain information it disseminates. A few weeks later, the information is still online.
Russia threatens Wikipedia with a fine for spreading banned information
Roskomnadzor has therefore decided to take the next step: financial sanctions. In a press release, the Russian regulator explains that a complaint will be filed for dissemination ” prohibited information ” and non-deletion of unreliable documents if the site does not yield. And a fine will therefore be imposed on Wikipedia. The amount can go up to 4 million rubles. That’s about 40,000 euros.
This amount may seem anecdotal. However, if Wikipedia is condemned by the Russian courts for spreading prohibited or unreliable information about the war in Ukraine, this would give the regulator the opportunity to ban the portal in Russia. Wikipedia would then have two choices: accept censorship or no longer be accessible to the Russian populations who, however, also need to be informed.