They say we live in a free world. Freedom of speech has awakened from the tomb of oppression, equality at all levels is invited to slowly cross the threshold of humanity and information can run free on the virtual green fields of the internet, without anyone interfering to smash it with censorship under their (un)limited leadership feet.
Well, if everything above was true, the world would surely be a much better place. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Russian internet providers have started to fulfill an order from a government agency to block access to a page on the Russian language version of Wikipedia, containing banned information on a certain type of cannabis. While a part of the world tries to liberate minds and welcome the beneficial effects of cannabis, the other part is extremely frightened about what a simple herb could do to the people.
Russia’s internet watchdog is really not impressed with Wikipedia’s endeavors to combat censorship. Although Wiki has tried to avoid taking down content at the request of censors, their power is significantly small, compared to the power of Russian leaders. Now, the site is bound for a ban, despite the cunning loophole.
The story goes like this: A prosecutor in the Russian giant village was deeply touched by a Wikipedia entry on charas, a special form of cannabis. Wiki has built a special section where they described the roots and use of this herb, found in Pakistan, Nepal, Jamaica and India (the places are pretty far from the Russian territories). The prosecutor ordered that the Russian language Wiki entry be deleted and a court in the village of Chyorny Yar, the place where the complaint has come, endorsed his position in June.
Immediately after the first censorship requests, Russia’s internet watchdog has asked service providers to block the Wiki page but resistance was the key that made the worldwide encyclopedia use the https protocol for secure communications, meaning that providers find it difficult to block individual articles. In turn, the watchdog commented that Russian providers would have to block the entire Wikipedia base to enforce the ban on the charas entry. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is the “liberated” world we’ve created.
Yesterday, in spite of all the threats, trials and tribulations, Wikipedia was still available in Russia. However, Russia expects that it will take a day for authorities and providers to enforce the ban.
As Russian Wikipedia page gets blocked by censors, on other parts of the world cannabis is sold over the counter and people stay high all day long. A world of extremes is a world where understanding will be extremely difficult. Resist, act wisely and react in front of abuse. Way to go, Wikipedia!
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org