Wikipedia attributes restrictions to pro-Chinese infiltration
According to the US nonprofit organization that runs the volunteer-edited encyclopedia, Wikipedia has been subjected to “infiltration” aimed at advancing China’s goals.
The invasion endangered the “Basic foundations of Wikipedia”, according to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Seven publishers affiliated with an organization in mainland China have been banned by the foundation. Mainland Wikimedians The foundation has been accused by China of “baselessly defaming a small number of people.”
In a message to the volunteers, the vice president of the foundation, Maggie Dennis, wrote: “This matter is on an unprecedented scale.
She also informed BBC News that the charity had been investigating the infiltration of Wikipedia into Chinese for over a year. However, “credible threats” to the safety of volunteers “motivated us to prioritize quick action” this summer.
Ms. Dennis said the foundation fights against “capture,” which occurs when a group gains control of Wikipedia publishing to foster a specific perspective.
He also recently created a disinformation unit.
In this case, the infiltrators attempted to promote “China’s objectives, as interpreted through the filters they can use”, Ms Dennis told BBC News.
“Controlling the content was a goal,” she said.
She also said, “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.”
However, Wikipedia said that “extensive and thorough investigations” of mainland Chinese Wikimedians, an organization that claims to have around 300 members, resulted in the banning of seven users and the loss of administrator rights for 12 others. elections for major administrator positions were rigged, putting the editing process in jeopardy.
Other publishers have also been invited to change their ways.
Mainland Wikimedians accused the foundation of going against “the feelings and opinions of the community” in response to the restrictions in a blog post.
Ms Dennis, on the other hand, said the foundation acted because of a disagreement between mainland Chinese Wikimedians and the Hong Kong volunteers.
The Hong Kong Free Press reported in July of “editorial bickering” over articles on political events.
After the closure of the Apple Daily in Hong Kong and the arrest of its top executives, the situation deteriorated further. The Hong Kong Free Press said mainland editors “were pushing for the use of Chinese state media as reputable sources of information” in the Wikipedia pages.
In online discussion forums, it was also discovered that some had considered reporting Hong Kong editors to the city’s National Security Police hotline.
According to Selina Cheng of the Hong Kong Free Press, some members of the Hong Kong Wikipedia community are now afraid to “comment on politically sensitive matters.”
“Hong Kong users feared being targeted because of knowing their identity,” she said.
They enlisted the help of the Trust and Safety team at the Wikimedia Foundation.