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Russia to invest $31 million in a local Wikipedia clone

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Homepage of BigEnc.ru

The Russian executive plans to allocate 2 billion rubles (~$31 million) to reinforce a web-based encyclopedia undertaking controlled by means of a Russian corporate, which can ultimately substitute the commonly to be had Russian model of Wikipedia.

Rumors concerning the Kremlin’s plans began circulating in September and have been showed in early November at a gathering of the Russian Language Council, additionally attended by means of President Putin.

“Referring to Wikipedia […] It is higher to interchange it with the Nice Russian Encyclopaedia in digital shape,” mentioned President Putin on the time, as quoted by means of Russian information company RIA.

Putin mentioned this new encyclopedia would function “dependable knowledge, introduced in a excellent, fashionable approach.”

Putin used to be relating to the portal bigenc.ru.

The web site is a web-based encyclopaedia controlled by means of publishing space Nice Russian Encyclopedia. The writer is the writer of a 36-volume common Russian encyclopedia — eponymously named the Nice Russian Encyclopedia — printed and offered between 2004 and 2017.

The 36 volumes have been ported to digital shape and hosted at the bigenc.ru portal, the place they have been made to be had to scholars, professors, and all Russians alike.

BigEnc.ru confirms executive’s plans

Two weeks after Putin’s commentary, Sergey Kravets, a spokesperson for the Nice Russian Encyclopedia instructed Euronews Russia that they have been set to obtain 2 billion rubles (~$31 million) from the Russian executive to reinforce the bigenc.ru portal with new knowledge.

The replace is to happen between 2020 and the spring of 2022, Kravets mentioned.

Russian information company TASS mentioned Kravets and his publishing space will even translate the Nice Russian Encyclopedia into different languages, and that international locations, akin to Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, have been additionally within the undertaking.

Russian government have lengthy claimed that knowledge incorporated within the Russian model of Wikipedia is wrong and now not verified.

In August this 12 months, the rustic’s minister for virtual construction, telecommunications, and mass media urged scholars and newshounds to not cite information sourced from Wikipedia.

Some distinguished Russian bloggers have additionally made wild accusations, claiming that the Russian model of Wikipedia is “almost owned by means of Western intelligence businesses.”

Russian government did not say in the event that they plan to prohibit the Russian model of Wikipedia as soon as the BigEnc.ru undertaking completes in 2022.

Russian government up to now in short banned Wikipedia in 2013 and 2015 over an access a few hashish pressure.

If the federal government ever sought after to prohibit the web page, it could be more uncomplicated than ever. Final month, a brand new “web sovereignty” legislation entered into impact in Russia, a legislation that grants the federal government extra powers over the rustic’s web infrastructure. The legislation contains provisions that may drive all ISPs to redirect visitors thru servers and gear controlled by means of Russian government, successfully growing some way for the federal government to discretely block websites with no need to publicize bans or drive choices upon ISPs, a device similar to China’s Nice Firewall era.

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