[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

Tim Starling tstarling at wikimedia.org
Wed Jul 18 02:54:54 UTC 2012

On 14/07/12 01:07, abi yoyo wrote:
> Greetings to all and thanks for the support of our initiative. I am
> one of the three ru-wikipedia users, who signed the decision under
> the poll to blackout ru-wiki. We have a really nasty bill, that is
> already passed by the Russian parliament. The bill contains a real
> and an unequivocal clauses, that can lead to an ip-ban of Wikimedia
> projects in Russia. 

Since nobody from the Russian Wikipedia community has stepped up to
provide the other side to this story to this list's readers, I thought
I'd better post a couple of quotes.

According to ru.wp Arbcom member DR, the danger to Wikipedia was
overstated, and the text of the proposed law was misrepresented. Via
Google Translate:

"You propose a banner to hang out or close WP in protest (at least on
paper) a logical law against child pornography and extremism. Just out
of fear that there will be law enforcement practice, which will
interpret it too broadly. Well, against the practice (if it suddenly
appears) and it will be necessary to protest. And it is a protest
against the Criminal Code ... In addition, I have the impression,
well, if 5% of the votes 'for' even opened a file with the draft law -
because in the header are two entirely hypothetical examples of
incorrect application of the law, but more in the whole section 'for'
there is no argument (in denotes the best rate per nom, and at worst -
a vote solely on the basis of incorrectly formulated SiteNotice 'Speak
... sorry censorship in RuNet'). Well, and, separately, I think that
this can not be done on the basis of four hour interview."


> The organization was really not good. Actually it could not be
> worse. The main reason for that is extreme lack of time we had to
> organize. The bill was passed in an utmost haste without even a
> shadow of public discussion. Actually the community, including
> myself, got to know of bill hearing only day before its planned
> time. 

According to Levg in his Arbcom application, again via Google
Translate, "It should be noted that there are no objective reasons for
such a 'sprint survey' did not exist, to discuss the bill on second
reading has been known since at least last Friday."

Friday was July 6, the poll was held on July 9.


-- Tim Starling

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