The popular online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, is facing a potential ban in Russia over its publishing of an article on smoking cannabis. If the page is not taken offline, the entire website may be closed on Russian territory.
Russian communications watchdog, Roscomnadzor confirmed to RT
that the page has been added to the so-called ‘internet blacklist’,
a unified register of websites with banned content, which was
launched in November of last year, following the signing of the law
on protection of children from harmful content, which includes
child pornography, suicide instructions and the promoting of
“And finally, it happened: we’ve been added to the blacklist…for the article on 'Cannabis smoking'", Russian Wikipedia announced on their official Twitter blog on Friday.
Roscomnadzor spokesman Vladimir Pikov, discussed the matter with RT, expressing his hope for swifter action from Wikipedia - 10 of their pages have been on the Russian blacklist since last year. Their continued refusal to comply could mean the entire website is blocked from use in Russia. However, Pikov said it is in everyone’s best interest that the online encyclopedia stays open.
“We shall do everything in our power to prevent [closure]… one of the objectives we set for ourselves is to protect, as much as we can, the law-abiding users of the Internet, as well those resources that happen to be under the same IP address as the banned page”, Pikov said.
But when asked if closure of the online resource is imminent, Pikov replied that “there are no such plans” in the foreseeable future.