Wikipedia founder restricts discussion of 'Tony Blair friendship, support of Kazakh regime'

London, Dec 25 (ANI): Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has reportedly banned a critic from his page on the website for raising his friendship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and support of work funded by the authoritarian Kazakh regime.

Kazakhstan's government set up a foundation called WikiBilim last year to create material for a Kazakh Wikipedia.

The organization is backed by Kazakhstan's sovereign oil wealth fund and run by Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, an ex-government official.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organisation that runs Wikipedia, provided a 16,600 dollars grant from visitor donations.

Wales also named Kenzhekhanuly the first ever "Wikipedian of the Year" in 2011.

According to the Telegraph, Wikipedia contributors in the West have questioned whether the Wikimedia Foundation and Wales should be supporting a project backed by a government that has been accused of launching 'crackdown on free speech'.

Last week, Wales denied his or the Wikimedia Foundation's work in Kazakhstan supported the regime.

In a separate discussion, he added that "no one has produced any evidence of any kind of manipulation of Kazakh Wikipedia".

According to the paper, Wales shut down the discussion on his Talk page, saying it had become "absurd", when critics raised his friendship with Tony Blair, who is advising the Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev, reportedly for 13 million dollars. (ANI)