The Russian government briefly blocked all of Wikipedia after the website refused to edit a post about narcotics.
In a statement the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that runsWikipedia, confirmed the order to block the Russian version of the website. Some internet users in the country found the site blocked late on Tuesday, while others were still able to access it.
Roskomnadzor, the government body responsible for overseeing the media in Russia, said it lifted the block order after Wikipedia’s Russian editors amended the article. Editors on the site denied any changes were made,according to The Guardian.
“Censorship of Wikipedia content runs contrary to the Wikimedia vision: a world in which everyone can freely access the sum of all knowledge,” it said in a statement issued to TechCrunch.
Wikimedia first learned about the possibility of being blocked last week, when Roskomnadzor asked it to remove an article about preparing charas, a form of hashish.
As most Russian ISPs lack the technology to ban individual pages on Wikipedia, an order to block one page caused the entire site to be blocked for some Russian internet users. According to The Washington PostWikipedia’s use of HTTPS meant most ISPs in Russia were forced to block the more than one million articles that make up Russian Wikipedia.
While only brief, the ban caused concern among Russian internet users that government’s censorship is becoming increasingly aggressive. Earlier this month Roskomnadzor imposed a temporary ban on Reddit after the website initially refused to remove a post about growing psychedelic mushrooms. Reddit later complied with the order and blocked access to the post in Russia.