Putin is Building an Alternative Wikipedia for Russia

By Matt Hill on at

Having grown tired of the "CIA special project" that is the internet (his words, not ours), Russia's president Vladimir Putin has decided that building his own Wikipedia is a good way to get the real facts out there.

More than 50,000 books from 27 libraries are already being used to craft an "alternative" encyclopedia, according to a statement from the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library – established by Putin in 2007 – although it's unclear if old-fashioned, internationally curated, full-fat Wikipedia will be affected in Russia.

The Kremlin made noises earlier this year about switching off the internet in times of trouble, but in the absence of a major national emergency it's been looking to up the PR quota of what's on there instead. As well as producing pro-government web content similar to the controlled state media, Putin's library has now pooh-poohed Wikipedia's plethora of pages dedicated to Russia's 11 time zones.

According to a statement reported by – wait for it – state news agency RIA:

"Analysis of this resource showed that it is not capable of providing information about the region and life of the country in a detailed or sufficient way. The creation of an alternative Wikipedia has begun."

Stirring stuff. We wonder if Russian citizens will be able to edit this new version? [Reuters via Time]

Image Credit: Gil C at Shutterstock (Edited)