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Russian government ends temporary block on Wikipedia

By Jared M. Feldschreiber
Russian government ends temporary block on Wikipedia
The Russian government put an end to its less-than 24-hour ban on its Wikipedia site over a page relating to drug use which the site refused to edit or delete. Photo by WikiCommons.

MOSCOW, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The Russian government put an end to its less-than 24-hour ban on Wikipedia over a page relating to drug use which the site refused to edit or delete.

While the ban was lifted on Tuesday, many Russians fear that the country is experiencing a crackdown on its Internet freedom, The Guardian reported. A provincial court in southern Russia told Internet providers to block access to Wikipedia as it contained harmful information about charas, an Indian form of hashish.

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The online watchdog Roskomnadzor said the decision to rescind the ban came because the information about charas was redacted.

In mid August, the Kremlin also threatened to block access to Reddit because it had a thread that gave advice on how to grow marijuana. Similar threats were made against YouTube and Pirate Bay, an online index of digital content of entertainment media, was blocked.

Recent legislation in Russia has banned sites from carrying information about drugs, suicide and hate, leading critics to accuse authorities of censorship.

In April, all Internet memes mocking politicians and celebrities were banned. In 2014, Moscow made it mandatory for bloggers to register with the government to get rid of anonymous blogs, reported Valuewalk.

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