Vkikpedia is one of the most visited Internet resources, which contains on its servers articles from different sections of knowledge in almost three hundred languages. The posting and editing of information in different sections is carried out by separate self-governing communities of volunteers who, in modern society, cannot remain aloof from the events of real life. Recently, this circumstance has been increasingly giving rise to protests in different language sections of Wikipedia.
Over the past ten months, different language sections have already protested three times, and each time the reason was the desire to prevent legislative introduction of censorship on the Internet. Italians were the first to restrict access to users in their native language. On October 4, 2012, visitors to the section of the Internet encyclopedia in this language saw, instead of the pages they were looking for, a text criticizing the bill submitted to the Italian parliament. For two days, the Italian Wikipedia community protested in this way against one of the provisions of the law, according to which anyone could demand a change in information posted on the Internet without a court decision. And failure to comply with this requirement threatened to recover 12 thousand euros already in court.
Another protest took place in the English-language section of Wikipedia, when two bills on combating Internet piracy and protecting intellectual property were discussed in the American parliament. This action was preceded by a long and detailed discussion in the community, and as a result, on January 18, 2012, access to the section was closed for a day. Instead of informational articles, visitors saw a message about the threat to freedom of speech on the Internet, but on the page with explanations, the organizers of the action explained how the visitor could still see the desired article.
The Russian-language section of Wikipedia did not remain aloof from the global trend. The reason for the self-blocking of this section was the discussion in the State Duma of a draft law on the protection of children from information related to pornography, drugs, suicide, etc. According to this draft, owners of domains that are used to disseminate problem information should be given 48 hours to delete it. In case of failure to comply with the instructions, the domain will be included in the "black list" of sites blocked by Russian Internet providers. The wording of the provisions of this draft after the first reading was far from perfect, which caused active criticism from officials, politicians and representatives of civil society. The Russian section of Wikipedia joined the dissatisfied, however, doing it in a hurry - the whole discussion and preparation took five hours. As a result, the action of self-censorship took place within 24 hours from July 10 to 11, 2012, but it was not as civilized as in the English-language sector of the free encyclopedia.
After the end of the action of the Russian-language section of the Internet encyclopedia, a conference on Wikipedia was held in Washington, where the topic of protests was also touched upon. Its founder, Jimmy Wales, announced that he was against the politicization of the project and its self-blocking as a form of protest, but did not rule out the possibility of a repetition of such actions.