Russian Government Kills Russian Wikipedia Clone "To Protect Children"

This Monday, the Russian Government placed a Russian Wikipedia clone on a censorship blacklist. The Russian Government maintains such a kill switch for “harmful sites” – motivated with protecting children from drug use, child porn, or suicide methods. In reality, as usual, give anybody such a switch and they’ll shut off things they plain don’t like.

The Russian Wikipedia clone Lurkomore (Луркоморье) has long been a Wikipedia-on-steroids in Russia. With the notability requirement for articles relaxed, Lurkomore had become an “encyclopedia of contemporary culture, folklore, and subcultures, as well as everything else”.

A plug for the article on “censorship”. The site is not without humor.

As reported by Russian news site Lenta, the site went gradually offline in the evening of November 11. The Russian government can ban any website without warning for promotion of drug use, child porn, or suicide. In this case, it was the Russian anti-drug agency who took the entire encyclopedia – the entire encyclopedia – offline in the name of “protecting children”.

(In case you’re wondering, this is textbook censorship. Not the name-calling kind; the literal kind where a government prevents publication of information between consenting parties.)

Previously, the entire Russian version of Uncyclopedia was similarly censored for its humorous satire article named How to commit suicide (“Suicide is illegal in most countries. People have recently been arguing for the death penalty as the punishment for committing suicide.”) The article was later removed.

The Lurkomore site has since moved to another IP address, bypassing the IP blacklist completely.

Hat tip to @sult.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot.

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Discussion

  1. plus

    Plus it has removed the article which caused them being blacklisted, which was about marihuana.

  2. Jonoma

    I wouldn’t be surprised with a law that put those committing or trying to commit suicide of themselves – in jail with harsh sentence.
    And those who come back in jail after doing same crime again to even bigger sentences
    or even death penalty.
    Maybe death penalty is not such a bad idea for those committing suicide, after all.

    1. Zacqary Adam Green

      The reason there are laws on the books against suicide is so that police are permitted to stop people from trying to kill themselves, or so that hospitals can hold patients who have reported thoughts of suicide. I don’t believe anyone has ever been prosecuted for attempting suicide, nor should they.

      So, essentially, the criminalization of suicide is the legal equivalent of playing music on an industrial laser cutter.

      Uncyclopedia would be proud that they managed to spark such intellectual discussion.

  3. jimbo

    like every other government on the Planet, democratic elected or not, (perhaps more so in the case of Putin) Russia is scared rigid of the people being able to communicate with each other and the rest of the World in a split second. it has absolutely nothing to do with protecting anyone, certainly not the children, other than the corrupt politicians in every county. we can all thank the entertainment industries for this, i believe, because i am sure it was them that started using this excuse to shut down not just web sites they didn’t like but also as many sites that used the torrent protocol and as many cyberlockers and file storage sites as well. that will backfire shortly because i am equally sure that cloud storage sites will be hit, intentionally or not, driving people from using them. that is going to upset a lot of people, including those at Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. had they have used a bit of foresight, they could have stopped it but instead were all for it, expecting the entertainment industries to be discriminate with what they were doing. WRONG! and now a lot more will be suffering because of them!

  4. SpecLad

    Lurkmore isn’t exactly a clone of Wikipedia… it’s more of an Encyclopedia Dramatica.

  5. U5K0

    This is great: China now borders Poland!

    Will we be able to order chinese take out from kaliningrad now?

  6. Roman

    Unsurprising. This website has a lot of criticism of Putin and the government, and a lot of content showing the “real” Russia, just how it is, without any euphemisms.

    By the way, their article on “brain christosis” is hilarious! It’s a terminal and usually incurable disease of the brain whereby people become delusional about all-powerful creatures. http://lurkmore.to/%D0%A4%D0%B0%D0%B9%D0%BB:PGM.jpg – “[brain christosis] may cause irreversible damage to the cerebral cortex”.

    1. harveyed

      Yes.. That’s quite fun in my opinion! But… I guess maybe russian orthodox church does not agree..?

  7. harveyed

    LOL. Death penalty for attempted suicide. Now that’s a horrible penalty.. hmmmm.. wait… 😛

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      Not for attempted suicide, but for committed suicide.

      1. Scary Devil Monastery

        How would such a law apply in cases where the person manages to suicide, is found to be dead, and is resuscitated?

        Because there certainly must be some nation still clinging to cessation of cardiac activity as the criteria for being dead.

      2. harveyed

        Sounds like overkill.

      3. harveyed

        That definitely sounds like overkill.

  8. Alan

    Silencing opposition in the name of the children – Russia has learned much from America!

    1. Travis McCrea

      I would argue that they have learned this from Europe. In the United States they use “Terrorism” as their key word to silence opposition. Europe is far better at playing the children card.

  9. Filino Rupro

    No tyrant, no corrupt, want a free internet!

  10. […] Russian Government Kills Russian Wikipedia Clone “To Protect Children” This Monday, the Russian Government placed a Russian Wikipedia clone on a censorship blacklist. The Russian Government maintains such a kill switch for “harmful sites” – motivated with protecting children from drug use, child porn, or suicide methods. In reality, as usual, give anybody such a switch and they’ll shut off things they plain don’t like. […]

  11. anon

    They also ban one of IPs of wikia.com for article in absurdopedia about suicide.

  12. […] In response to thousands of complaints with screenshots submitted by the public via zapret-info.gov.ru, the Russian government has blacklisted more than 180 sites for “offensive” content. As Global Voices' Runet Echo project reported last week, the Russian wiki style encyclopedia for contemporary culture, folklore, and subcultures called Lurkmore has also been placed on the blacklist. […]

  13. […] In response to thousands of complaints with screenshots submitted by the public via zapret-info.gov.ru, the Russian government has blacklisted more than 180 sites for “offensive” content. As Global Voices’ Runet Echo project reported last week, the Russian wiki style encyclopedia for contemporary culture, folklore, and subcultures called Lurkmore has also been placed on the blacklist. […]

  14. ron

    wont stop them going to usa Wikipedia and using Google translate.
    or if that fails old fashioned method of high building, or protest method of throwing themselves in front of Russian government car. Or even hanging with a usb cable…

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