Russia to create its own Wikipedia alternative

17 Nov 2014

As part of the country’s continued efforts to create an insular and more controllable internet, the Russian government has announced plans to create its own version of Wikipedia.

The country’s Presidential Library made the announcement online over the weekend, declaring it has decided to go ahead with its own ‘Russiapedia’, as it will allow it ‘to objectively and accurately present the country and its population, the diversity of the state, (and) the national system of Russia’.

The Presidential Library goes on to claim that Wikipedia, one of the most-visited sites on the internet, does not contain a reliable and detailed source of information regarding the country and has begun collating 50,000 works of Russian encyclopaedias and local information to create the site.

According to Wikipedia’s own website, its Russian-language version contains more than 1m articles along with many of the world’s other major languages.

However, the intentions of the Russian government with regard to creating its own online encyclopaedia raises a number of concerns, given rising tensions with the west, so much so it was found to have allegedly edited Wikipedia details on the contentious shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine earlier this year.

The government has even gone as far as to call for the replacement of all its computers in order to remove its ARM processors, products of the US, and replace them with Russian-created variants over fears they may be accessible by US intelligence agencies.

Russia Wikipedia page image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic