Russia to create its own Wikipedia

Part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s directive to create an autonomous internet will include a Russian alternative to Wikipedia.

According to materials from Russia’s draft budget for 2020-2022, development of the National Interactive Encyclopedia Portal (OIEP) will begin in 2020 and will be financed by the federal treasury.

The Russian government plans to spend a total of 1.7 billion rubles ($26.3 million) on its Wikipedia alternative. Of these funds, $10.6 million will be allocated in 2020, $12.9 million in 2021 and $2.62 million in 2022.

The funds will be used as a subsidy for the scientific publisher Great Russian Encyclopedia, which will create content under the guidance of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media.

In July, the ministry drafted a bill to regulate the future “Rukipedia”. At the time, deputy head of the ministry Alexey Volin said that articles on the traditional Wikipedia are often unreliable, and cautioned against using them.

The free online encyclopedia contains a lot of unverified information, and “there is also a separate business that creates and edits articles on Wikipedia to order for other companies,” Volin remarked.

  Russia, Wikipedia