Russia’s reply to Wikipedia: Propaganda or widespread sense encyclopedia?

In late August, Russian authorities launched what they described as a substitute for Wikipedia — Runiversalis or “Runi”.

The state-supported web site labels itself “an encyclopedia of widespread sense” and bares many resemblances to the world-famous Wikipedia website, which is written and edited by volunteers throughout greater than 300 languages.

The Runiversalis authors even declare that they’re former editors and directors of Wikipedia.

The location was launched by Moscow amid the battle in Ukraine, as many web platforms confronted censorship stress from the Kremlin.

Russian authorities have fined and threatened to silence Wikipedia for publishing “prohibited supplies” and “faux” content material in regards to the battle.

Search engines like google and yahoo at the moment are pressured to tell on-line customers in Russia that Wikipedia violates the nation’s laws and firms face penalties for intentionally sharing so-called “faux information” about Russian entities overseas.

Moscow has criminalised using the phrases “invasion” or “battle” and as an alternative refers to its aggression in Ukraine as a “particular navy operation”.

And the Runiversalis article in regards to the “particular navy operation” repeats the Kremlin’s narrative that Russia desires to “denazify” and “demilitarise” Ukraine.

The web site additionally states that its authors will solely promote “conventional values” on topics akin to gender and sexuality, elevating considerations from the LGBTQ neighborhood.

“Editors will proceed not from what’s written in Western scientific journals which have succumbed to stress from the LGBT foyer,” claimed an announcement by Runiversalis on their Telegram web page. 

“When one begins to learn Runiversalis, you discover that it is a platform for Kremlin narratives of disinformation and propaganda,” stated Eto Buziashvili, a Analysis Affiliate for the Caucasus on the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Analysis Lab (DFRLab) in an interview with Euronews.

“One other fascinating level is once you go all the way down to the references, the overwhelming majority of the sources are Kremlin official platforms just like the Ministry of Protection or Kremlin-controlled media,” stated the researcher. 

In her report, Eto Buziashvili wrote that Runiversalis is not any Wikipedia. 

“Wikipedia has clear enhancing insurance policies and editorial oversight. Runiversalis, in distinction, is a propaganda web site masquerading as a wiki, utilizing the stylistic trappings of Wikipedia to provide it a veneer of credibility.”

A latest report by the DFRLab discovered that Runiversalis had endured a “tough begin” on-line.

The web site turned briefly unavailable only some days after its launch resulting from a cyberattack.

Based on its Telegram web page, Runiversalis was restored on September 12 earlier than being focused in one other cyberattack, which did not take down the web site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *