Wikimedia blog

News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

Recent events with Russian Wikipedia

On Tuesday, July 10, the Russian Wikipedia community made a decision to blackout their project for 24 hours to protest a piece of legislation before the Russian Duma. The legislation, which has since been passed (although with important amendments) could threaten the mission of the Wikimedia projects in Russia – to spread free knowledge globally. Websites that publish facts or deemed to be inappropriate could be blacklisted and blocked from operating in Russia.

Wikimedia Russia blogged (in Russian and English) about the blackout this week.
The volunteers of the Russian Wikipedia undertook this initiative independently from other language projects and from the Wikimedia Foundation, however many in the Wikimedia movement recognize that this legislation is similar to other bills being proposed or passed around the world that could hinder free speech and produce situations where governments could censor information. Non-censorship and freedom of speech are core values of the Wikimedia movement and the Wikimedia Foundation.

The efforts of the Russian Wikipedia blackout on July 10 appear to have made a difference in the ultimate shape of this legislation. Although our projects are not spaces designed for political advocacy, Wikimedians around the world take the issue of freedom of speech in their nations, and especially on our projects, very seriously. Our projects are built on the core values of neutral point of view, non-censorship, and openness, and we continue to urge lawmakers around the world to better understand the role of the free and open web.

9 Responses to “Recent events with Russian Wikipedia”

  1. Andrew K. says:

    It will be good idea – to integrate different Wikipedias to help each other to protest together in these actions…

  2. Rave says:

    Please fix a mistype.

    “The efforts of the Russian Wikipedia blackout on July 10″, Not 11.

  3. lvova says:

    It’s a good sense to write ‘imho’ after such comments instead of ‘fact’, dear Hector.

  4. Hector says:

    In fact, a small group decided. The discussion lasted only 4 hours. It’s like a flashmob. Many users were against it. Arguments are ignored. Many users simply do not have time to participate.

  5. lvova says:

    It’s very funny comment. Was it consensus or not – it will decide AC, so stop lie before the decision. Now we have a small group of loud wikipedians, not any real ‘split’.

  6. Hector says:

    А part of the Russian Wikipedia community decided to blackout because they think it should be. Another part was against it. There was no consensus to take an action. The result was a split community and a request for arbitration.

  7. Idjump says:

    hope this blackout activity will be quick end, cause many Russian’s student need more info from wikipedia everyday

Leave a Reply