Misinformation also attacks Wikipedia

Attempts to manipulate articles in the largest online encyclopaedia in order to influence world opinion.

by Janeth Kent Date: 13-07-2022 news

Wikipedia contains over 55 million articles in more than 300 languages spoken worldwide. In just 21 years, Wikipedia has become a global phenomenon, a reference point on all human knowledge, with 18 billion hits per month and the fourth most visited site on the planet.

It is therefore not surprising that in the information war that has been going on in the world since well before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are those who try to intervene in the entries of the largest online encyclopaedia to influence world public opinion.

An example?

On the night of 13 April 2022, when the cruiser Moskva, Russia's flagship in the Black Sea was hit by Ukrainian Neptun anti-ship missiles, the Wikipedia entry on the ship was repeatedly changed within minutes by those who reported its sinking and those who denied it.

misinformation wikipedia

PRESSURE AND FINES FROM RUSSIA. The organisation that controls the media in Russia, the Roskomnadzor, has repeatedly claimed that Wikipedia has become the source of "a new line of constant attacks against Russians", and that its articles promote "an exclusively anti-Russian interpretation of events".

A Moscow court, as reported by the Reuters news agency on 13 June, fined the Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation that oversees the creation and maintenance of Wikipedia, 5 million roubles (about 85,000 euro) for refusing to remove a number of entries relating to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Bucha massacre and Russian war crimes committed during the war.

The organisation objected, stating that Wikipedia is a source read all over the world, not just in Russia, and objecting that the public has a right to know the facts about the war (which the Kremlin calls a 'special military operation').

Stephen LaPorte, Wikimedia's associate general counsel on public policy issues, argued that the Moscow court's decision "implies that Wikipedia's well-documented and verified information is considered disinformation by the Russian government when it does not align with its narrative".

INFILTRATION IN CHINA. But Russia is not the only country to exert pressure in some way on the Wikipedia system, which relies on the input of more than 200,000 editors committed to writing, editing and updating entries on the basis of a rigorous method, based on a detailed manual and cross-checks.

In September 2021, for example, the Wikimedia Foundation reported an attempt in China to infiltrate the community of editors or to condition it with threats in order to spread a description of facts and history more in line with what is advocated by the Chinese government and communist party.

BEWARE OF DUBIOUS SOURCES. A recent pilot study conducted by Eu vs Disinfo, an initiative and portal promoted by the East StratCom Task Force, the counter disinformation service of the European Union's diplomatic service, found that four sources in the service of the Kremlin, sanctioned by the European Commission and the United States and considered unreliable, are cited in several hundred articles published by Wikipedia.

Eu vs Disinfo carried out the study to point out the devious way in which certain tools used by the Russian government in the information war operate, masquerading as generalist media that report facts from all over the world, but introducing fake news or biased and distorted interpretations of facts only when it is of interest in order to present a certain narrative of the facts. The fact that these sources still appear among those cited in some Wikipedia articles constitutes, according to Eu vs Disinfo, a risk itself for Wikipedia's respectability, which could tarnish its trustworthin

by Janeth Kent Date: 13-07-2022 news hits : 2370  
Janeth Kent

Janeth Kent

Licenciada en Bellas Artes y programadora por pasión. Cuando tengo un rato retoco fotos, edito vídeos y diseño cosas. El resto del tiempo escribo en MA-NO WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT.


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