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Russia's Education Watchdog 'Would Ban Wikipedia'

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

The deputy head of Russia's education watchdog said Thursday that Wikipedia should be banned, the TASS news agency reported.

"Wikipedia does not help, but only harms education," TASS cited Alexander Biserov, deputy head of Rosobrnadzor, as saying. The official complained that the free online encyclopedia is riddled with factual errors, and concluded "I would ban it, I would simply censor it."

A Rosobrnadzor spokesperson said later Thursday that the official's words were meant to be a joke and should not be taken seriously, Russian News Service reported.

Wikipedia has previously changed the content of articles relating to drugs and suicide after they were blacklisted by Russia's media and communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor.

In November, the Russian Presidential Library and Russian National Library announced plans to construct an alternative to Wikipedia, Interfax reported.

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