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By Adam Cuerden

Russia fines Wikipedia for failing to toe the party line on the Ukraine War

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The Wikimedia Foundation has been fined in Russia

As reported by Ars Technica, Yahoo News, Reuters and no doubt many other places, Russia has once again fined Wikipedia for not following the Kremlin's official narrative on the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, the third fine so levied since the invasion began last year. The 2 million ruble fine (about $27,000 USD) is for failure to comply with takedown requests. The other fines, for 5 million and 2 million rubles, were for failing to delete Russian-language articles on the topics Russian Invasions of Ukraine (2022), Battle for Kyiv, War Crimes during the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Shelling of Hospital in Mariupol, Bombing of the Mariupol Theater, Massacre in Bucha, Non-violent resistance of Ukraine's civilian population in the course of Russia's invasion, and Evaluations of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The Wikimedia Foundation has promised to not give in to Russia's pressure, though it's not clear from any of the articles whether they're going to pay up.

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You're right. The article has been written in a very flippant manner. Ciridae (talk) 13:28, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will say the comment in particular was probably not JW's smartest remark, but the choice of wording could be improved. I might have called it "questionable" or "tone-deaf", but to each their own. ASUKITE 15:15, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I intended to say the same thing; calling it "stupid" is clear editorializing. I might certainly agree that it's not the brightest thing to say, but well, I know I'm editorializing. In a non-editorial fact piece, probably more appropriate to call it, for example, "controversial". Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:03, 9 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not the normal writer of this, and found a list of links just before scheduled publication. I do, however, think that that's one of the stupidest things I've seen Jimbo say. It's clear pandering on his part to the kind of low-grade racism/sexism/etc. we don't want to pander to. It's entirely possible to give too much credence and respect to things that are well outside of reasonable discourse, especially when he's speaking for Wikipedia as a whole. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.2% of all FPs. Currently celebrating his 600th FP! 19:36, 11 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A play on words, how does it work... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:20, 18 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that the author may have been blind to how some people perceive the term "woke". It is not universally seen as being merely about awareness of prejudice. It is seen by many millions as an extreme stance that brooks no argument and implicitly claims that everybody who disagrees with any element of the woke stance is "not awake". The tone of the comment made about Jimmy in the Signpost matched that perception, stating that if you disagree with being woke, you are by definition stupid.
In the last decade, the term has become divisive, even if it didn't start that way. If you read past the lead section, the en:Woke page goes into how "woke" is now used as an insult among non-woke people, akin to "politically correct", and how in numerous countries, wokeness is seen as an extreme and inappropriate American export. I think Wikipedia should seek to not alienate big factions of society by writing as if Jimmy stating that he is not woke was a problem or was stupid. It wasn't. I think Adam's statement in his talk comment that non-wokeness is "well outside of reasonable discourse" or is "pandering to low-grade racism/sexism" is a woke PoV, not a neutral PoV, and is inappropriate for Wikipedia. It's possible and common to oppose wokeness and yet not be sexist, racist, nor stupid. Gnuish (talk) 23:35, 16 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A scurrilous article[1] by an anonymous writer in The Critic (modern magazine) was linked in The Signpost of 9 March 2023[2]. Among general abuse of Wikipedia and its editors, the writer referred to sockpuppetry in the BLP of UK Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal. This is my assessment of the matter following the slight involvement that I had in the issue earlier.

When, in April 2021, the now proven sockpuppet User:PostcolonialLitNerd, who was continually adding praise to the BLP of UK Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal and deleting criticism of her, was asked by an editor if they had a relationship with Gopal that they should disclose, the answer by User:PostcolonialLitNerd was an unambiguous No. I accepted this assurance of course. However in early 2022, through the dark arts of the checkuser team, it was discovered that PostcolonialLitNerd had been engaging in industrial-scale sock puppetting and fibbing. PostcolonialLitNerd and their other (there seem to be at least 5) socks were then banned indefinitely. However, I am convinced that there is no evidence that Gopal herself was complicit in any of the socking that favored her BLP. She would have known that if she had been involved, and it was disclosed, the consequences would be catastrophic: her public reputation would be trashed and her activities as an activist and influencer crippled. A revelation of dishonesty might lead to charges of academic misconduct that could affect her employment. It is possible that the socking was carried out by one of Gopal’s opponents in an attempt to harm her reputation by making people think she did it herself. I expect that Gopal will use her Twitter channel, which she contributes to frequently, to confirm that she had no knowledge of the socking. If she chooses not to do that, then the presumption of innocence applies. Xxanthippe (talk) 09:07, 13 March 2023 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Funny thing, the last time the Critic wrote about WP [3], the authors used pseudonyms too. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:07, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Xxanthippe: Thanks for the summary of the facts. For obvious reasons if you've seen the article, I didn't want to go too far into BLP territory with Gopal, since the article's first section is pretty much just hyperbolic (and arguably racist - they seem most offended about her criticising colonialism and such) attacks on her. Adam Cuerden (talk)Has about 8.2% of all FPs. Currently celebrating his 600th FP! 20:07, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Are the Russian fines paid, and if so, by whom? HandsomeFella (talk) 18:51, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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