Russian police investigate Wikipedia for "housing extremism"

Russian police have launched an investigation into Wikipedia over it allegedly housing extremist material, which resulted in a ban of Youtube earlier this year.

The head of the Russian version of Wikipedia, Vladimir Medeiko, revealed to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that the police had received complaints over extremist text on, but Medeiko said that neither he or his staff have been informed which entries on the website are the infringing ones.

The problem could be about text from The Doctrine of Fascism by Benito Mussolini which is hosted on the website.’s executive, Stanislav Kozlovsky, indicated his belief that this may be the root cause and said that there are discussions on whether or not it infringes copyright. It will be removed if it does.

It may not be copyright at all. Russia banned Youtube in July of this year for supposedly harbouring extremist material. The main cause of concern at the time was a version of Hitler’s Mein Kampf available on the user-based site.

Not everyone was on board with the decision to ban YouTube, with one ISP appealing the ruling. Should the Russian courts decide to ban Wikipedia as well there may be a further backlash from the public over what is seen as heavy-handed censorship, despite the controversial nature of the documents in question.