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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wikipedia May Delete Its Italian Version

The worldwide known encyclopedia Wikipedia has recently warned the Italian authorities against legislation which would allow greater media censorship. This can even lead to a dramatic move of blocking the entire country from the Wikipedia’s pages.

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It seems that Berlusconi’s regime keeps taking an increasingly hardline approach to filtering the Internet, with a suggested new legislation that demands sites to publish so-called “corrections” during 48 hours. Undoubtedly, Berlusconi has a stake in most of the country’s press, and that’s why he will not have to worry about correcting that. But it’s often the authority who defines what is “correct” and what isn’t.

The suggested law defines that if a site doesn’t comply with the demand to make “corrections”, it can face a $16,000 fine. Worse still, the suggested legislation doesn’t require any third party to adjudicate on whether or not the applicant is correct. In other words, if any anonymous person expresses the will to delete any information about anything from the Internet, the source would be left with no choice other than to do what he wants until it wants to face such a fine.

Unsurprisingly, the Wikipedia community is concerned about this law. The Internet encyclopedia, considered as best friend of students, has already issued a statement on its Italian version, saying that the site is only hidden at the moment. However, the entire Italian version will be deleted if the Italian government passes this law. As you can understand, the drafted legislation will push any party feeling that its reputation had been damaged to contact any news website or blog to demand its correction. It can as well require to “correct” a Wiki entry. Although there have been a lot of cases where erroneous data was found on Wikipedia, such doubtful information is usually quickly weeded out by the service’s pedantic editors.

So, it seems that Berlusconi is doing nothing more than paying homage to Benito Mussolini by simply keeping up the old tradition of a tight reign on any freedom of the media. Actually, just as it works with most things, there’s an entire Wiki entry dedicated to the arising problem. Another campaign has been launched to tackle the proposed legislation and to stop online encyclopedia from deleting its Italian version of the website.

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