[Wikimedia-l] Russian Wikipedia goes on strike

abi yoyo abiyoyo at mail.ru
Wed Jul 18 11:35:45 UTC 2012

Tim Starling wrote:

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

I think that the interpretation to the bill given by DR is incorrect. In fact the proposed bill was not only about child pornography and extremism, but also about drugs and,  about “information, prompting children to commit actions, making threat to their life and health”. That was a very loose clause, that could ban virtually anything. After the blackout this clause was removed from the bill and it is a clear achievement of the strike. On the other hand the final version of the bill contains another clause, that is even more hazardous to us. It is about “information of methods of producing and use of narcotic substances, … of methods and places of cultivation of narcotic plants”. We do have information of drug synthesis on Wikipedia, ways of its use (e.g. marijuana) and we do have thorough instructions of marijuana cultivation on wikibooks. That is why our achievements are ambiguous. On the one hand we have a removal of a loose clause about information harmful to children, but on the otherwe now have another clause that is even more dangerous. That is why we are still trying to do what we can via our contacts within the authorities to revise the passed bill.

But that is not all. The most important issue is extremism. According to the bill, the materials, that are banned for distribution in Russia should be included to the register of banned information on the ground of the court decision, banning the distribution of that information in Russia. We already have such court decisions and a list of extremist materials, distribution of which is prohibited in Russia. That list contains some really nasty materials, as e.g. nazi propaganda, but also Islamic texts (including those of famous non-terrorist Islamic authors e.g. Said Nursî), Saentologist, Jehova’s witnesses , Falun Gong, letters and materials of opposition in Russia, works of contemporary art, etc.

We *do have* banned extremist materials in Wikipedia. E.g. this image:

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Файл:Александр_Савко_Путешествия_Микки_Мауса_по_истории искусства.jpeg

is considered extremist and is banned for distribution in Russia. (Hopefully it was uploaded two years before it was regulated as banned by the court).

This letter in wikisource is also considered extremist:


This is enough for banning the IPs of Wikimedia projects in Russia. And I am really afraid of this.

I guess DR is aware of discussion on this list, but anyway I will inform him of it. Maybe he has something to add.

> 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."

That is our fault that we could not manage to get the information in time. The first hearing was on Friday, but the community and myself got to know about the problem only on Monday, 9th. What for me personally I haven’t read the news on the weekend (yes, it is bad, that I relaxed on the weekend and haven’t read the news), and I failed to get to know about the problem in time. I guess it is also true for others. If we start to organize on Friday, the result would be better. It is a fault, but anyway it was not a deliberate fault, as nobody has informed the community earlier.

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