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Russia Orders Wikipedia Page To Be Blocked Over Pot Reference

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Russia’s government agency that oversees media (Roskomnadzor) ordered a ban on Monday of a Wikipedia page because it contained information about cannabis.

According to Reuters, the Russian-language, wiki-page on charas, a type of hashish, violated Russian laws banning sites that contain drug-related material. Roskomnadzor reportedly issued a warning about the page earlier this year, and the article was edited and moved to a different web address—a move that did not please the media watchdog.

“Actions taken by the administrators of the Russian segment of the Internet encyclopedia to move the article in question to a new URL did not restrict access to the information declared illegal by courts,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement on its website.

On Tuesday, Wikipedia decided to comply with the government agency’s demands to avoid having the entire online encyclopedia blocked. According to the website Russia Beyond The Headlines, the Wikipedia entry about charas has been edited and removed from the unified register of banned information.

“The resolution issued by the Chernoyarsk court in the Astrakhan Region with regard to the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia has been implemented,” the government agency said in a statement. “The information recognized by the court as banned has been edited. The reference mentioned in this court ruling has been excluded from the unified register of banned information.”

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