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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Russia to setup ‘Great Russian Encyclopedia’ to compete with US-based Wikipedia

Russia gearing to set up the online version of the Great Russian Encyclopedia to compete with Wikipedia. The move is part of the series of decisions taken to tighten the control on the internet.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, will set up a ‘Great Russian Encyclopedia‘- an online information site, and an alternative to Wikipedia. Russia classed ‘Wikipedia’ as an unreliable source of information and asserted that the Russian encyclopedia will be reliable with updated and authentic information.

Putin added that Russia will no longer allow the crowd-sourced, Wikipedia, having its roots in the USA to operate in the country. The new Russian information site will cost 2 million rubles.

Meanwhile, the Russian language version of Wikipedia is the seventh biggest language version with over 1.5 million articles created by 2.6 million users.

Putin asserted that the online Russian encyclopedia will present information in a useful and modern way. The idea is a part of the move to control the internet and the influence of the USA on information sharing.

Earlier, in 2015, the Russian government blocked the Russian-version of Wikipedia, for an article containing information on cannabis under legislation banning sites with drug-related material.

Read more: Russia and Japan Puts Aside Territorial Disputes & Start Peace Talk Again

The government will also establish the national research and education center for the site.

Last month, Putin had called for an introduction of a homegrown online encyclopedia during the meeting of the Russian Language Council held in Kremlin.

“It’s better to replace it with a Big Russian new encyclopedia in electronic form…here it will be in any case, reliable information in a good modern form,” Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

The draft created by Ministry for Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media had recommended that the said amount will be allocated for the creation of the site from the 2020-2021 budget.

The move comes a week later after the ‘Law on Sovereign Internet’ was formulated giving the government an authority to disconnect the Russian internet users from the global network.

The recent moves are part of the tightening control by the Russian government on the internet and social media. Russia is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the list of World Press Freedom Index.