Wikipedia banned seven users after Chinese group reported “infiltration”


Wikipedia has been “infiltrated” by a Chinese group that “threatened the very foundations” of the site, the BBC reported. As a result, the Wikimedia Foundation banned seven mainland Chinese publishers and removed administrator privileges from 12 others, wrote Maggie Dennis, Wikimedia vice president for community. blog post.

The foundation said it is combating a situation called “capture,” in which a group takes control of Wikipedia edits to promote a point of view. He has been investigating the infiltration for nearly a year and has acted in response to “credible threats” to the safety of the volunteers which “led us to prioritize a rapid response,” Dennis wrote.

Wikimedia is said to have feared that the elections for powerful administrator roles would be manipulated. The infiltrators reportedly edited articles to promote “China’s goals,” Dennis told the BBC. She added that “I am not in a position to point the finger at the Chinese state or in possession of any information that would lead me to do so.”

While some time ago we limited the exposure of personal information to users in mainland China, we know there has been this kind of infiltration … and we know that some users have been physically injured in the process. result.

Earlier in July, the Hong Kong Free Press reported on the situation with an article titled “Wikipedia Wars: How Hong Kongers and Mainland Chinese Struggle to Define Narrative.” He quotes several disputed Wikipedia articles, both focusing on the protests in Hong Kong, saying mainland editors “were pushing for Chinese state media to be reliable sources of information.”

The group in question, Wikimedians of mainland China, is said to have more than 300 members. In one separate article, they said the foundation had not listened to “the feelings and opinions of the community.”

However, Dennis said the personal safety of members in mainland China was at risk. “While some time ago we were limiting the exposure of personal information to users in mainland China, we know that there has been the type of infiltration we describe above in the project,” a- she writes. “And we know that some users have been physically injured as a result. That being confirmed, we have no choice but to act quickly and appropriately in response.”

“To the 4,000 active Chinese-speaking Wikimedians around the world … we are committed to helping you do this job in the future, with the tools you need to be successful in a safe, secure and productive environment.”

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