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Proposed Law in Italy Requires Changes to Questionable Web Content Within 48 Hours or Pay US $16,000 Fine

As a protest measure against a newly proposed rule to be implemented in Italy, Wikipedia said that they hid the Italian edition of online encyclopedia. The proposed controversial rule requires any website to publish corrections within 48 hours on content found objectionable without any review.

In an official statement, which Wikipedia posted as a message on its Italian edition of Tuesday, "As things stand, the page you want still exists and is only hidden, but the risk is that soon we will be forced to actually delete it."

The new rule, to be debated in the Italian parliament this week, demands for the correction of web content within 48 hours upon receiving a complaint or pay a fine of US $ 16,000.

A number of activists in Italy have criticised this proposed law as violating the freedom of expression on the Internet, putting the controversial prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi in an awkward position.

What makes this law more controversial is the fact that there is no provision of review for the content or the complaint. Wikipedia made a statement regarding this that, "The opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required in order to impose such correction to any website."