Wikipedia bans Chinese publishers, pro-Beijing publishers call ‘well-calculated deletion’
New Delhi: The Wikimedia Foundation has banned seven Chinese publishers and removed the administrator credentials of 12 mainland Chinese Wikimedians (WMC) affiliated users due to “undercover issues.”
The suspension in September led pro-Chinese publishers to question the “neutrality” of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia edited by volunteers and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Maggie Dennis, vice president of community resilience and sustainability, Wikimedia, said in a declaration shortly after the ban the movement was “the result of long and thorough investigations into the activities around certain members of the unrecognized Wikimedians group of Mainland China “, and added that the decision was “sweeping” as the case was “unprecedented in its scope and nature”.
The statement added, “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 that we describe above in the project. . 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 ”.
The foundation has been accused of a crackdown by pro-Chinese publishers, who questioned the decision.
According to a report in the Chinese state World time, a WMC volunteer said the foundation had “dramatically changed the political landscape” of Wikipedia in Chinese and “significantly damaged Wikipedia’s neutrality.” It was a “well calculated” deletion, added the volunteer.
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Wikipedia vs pro-Beijing editors
Amid tensions between China and Hong Kong, pro-Beijing editors accused “intimidation and intimidation of editors who held a pro-democracy stance” was banned in September.
The publishing wars between the two groups often take place over the editing of content regarding protests and narratives regarding mainland China.
A report defines The WMC editors as editors based in mainland China, who describe themselves as pro-Beijing and were “patriots who believe that China’s perspective was not well represented on the world stage.”
China also has a local encyclopedia website called Baidu Baike, which has over 24.5 million articles compared to 1.2 million articles on Chinese Wikipedia. According to reports, Baike censors its content at the request of the Chinese government, being a Chinese startup unlike Wikipedia.
To use Wikipedia, users must access it through a proxy server or VPN. An example of the editing wars between Hong Kong and Pro-Beijing users was a item on an incident in Hong Kong in 2019 – 123 edits were made in two days, with words such as “rural factions” and “terrorists” used interchangeably.
In July, the Hong Kong Free Press had revealed that mainland Chinese editors threatened to report Hong Kong users for “national security violations”, which also posed a physical threat to them.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)
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