Russia just banned Wikipedia

Russian wikipediaScreenshot/WikipediaA screenshot of the Russian-language Wikipedia site

Russia is pulling the plug on Wikipedia, says TechCrunch.

The Russian version of the world’s largest encyclopedia has been targeted by the country’s media watchdog because of a page on the site that reportedly made references to a type of cannabis.

The watchdog, named Roskomnadzor, took issue with a page that discussed the drug, charas — a variety of hashish cannabis made from the resin of the cannabis plant. The site was ordered to remove the page.

Because the Russian version of the site employs the secure HTTPS prefix for URLs, individual pages can’t be blocked. That means the entire site gets blocked instead.

According to Roskomnadzor, the cannabis page violated Russia’s strict rules regulating “inappropriate” content. It’s an initiative that’s been in effect for some time as the country attempts to keep content creators on a tight leash.

In a statement noted by TechCrunch, Wikimedia — the parent company of Wikipedia — says “Censorship of Wikipedia content runs contrary to the Wikimedia vision: a world in which everyone can freely access the sum of all knowledge.”

Russia earlier this month banned Reddit because it contained advice on how to grow “magic mushrooms.”

Last year, Russia vowed that it would build it’s own version of Wikipedia from the ground up, citing concerns that people were getting their facts about Russia wrong.

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