Wikipedia bans publishers affiliated with Chinese groups
Wikipedia bans publishers affiliated with Chinese groups

The US non-profit organization that owns the volunteer-edited encyclopedia said Wikipedia was invaded to further Chinese goals.

The Wikimedia Foundation said the hack threatened the Wikipedia Foundation. As a result, the Foundation banned seven publishers belonging to a Chinese group.

Chinese Wikimedia has accused the establishment of baseless defamation of a small group of people.

"The scale of this issue is unprecedented," Maggie Dennis, the foundation's vice president, said in a letter to volunteers.

She added that the foundation has been investigating the hacking of Chinese Wikipedia for nearly a year. But credible threats to volunteer safety this summer prioritized rapid response.

Dennis writes that the agency has resisted the acquisition and that the group controls Wikipedia publications to support certain views. He recently formed a disinformation team.

In this case, hackers are trying to promote China's goal, and content control is a goal.

"I can't blame the Chinese government and I have no information to motivate me to do so," Dennis said.

Wikipedia said its long-term and in-depth investigation of Chinese wikis (one claims to have around 300 members) resulted in the suspension of 7 users and the removal of admin rights for the remaining 12.

People fear that elections will be rigged to occupy powerful administrative positions and that the liberalization process will be overwhelmed.

He also urged other publishers to change their behaviour. In a post in response to the ban, Chinese on Wikimedia accused the organization of acting against the feelings and opinions of the community.

But Dennis said the foundation is aware of the conflict between Chinese Wikimedia residents and Hong Kong volunteers.

The Hong Kong Free Press reported in July that rival publishers were arguing over articles depicting political events. After the Hong Kong Apple Daily newspaper stopped publishing and the arrest of its top officials, the situation deteriorated further.

Wikipedia content control

The Hong Kong Free Press reports that Chinese publishers are increasingly promoting the use of official Chinese media as a reliable source of information for encyclopedia articles.

It revealed that some people were in online discussion groups to discuss the Hong Kong editors' reports to the Hong Kong National Security Police.

Hong Kong Free Press reporter Zheng Xuen said some members of the Hong Kong Wikipedia community are now reluctant to comment on politically sensitive articles. Hong Kong users fear being attacked because of their identity. They enlisted the help of the Trust and Security Team at the Wikimedia Foundation.

A few weeks ago, the Foundation responded to a security alert and restricted access to personal information in two jurisdictions (including China) that can access Wikipedia.

She fears that volunteers will be used or forced to share personal information by government agencies or anyone else interested in the news.

Dennis said the plan shows that the foundation's actions have worked and no data has been misused. However, the latter is necessary because people unintentionally put themselves at risk by sharing information about themselves (for example, attending local meetings or giving other users personal email addresses).

She added: If the organization has reliable information, some volunteers may not interact in good faith. We believe there is a need to protect the community by denying these people access. In this case the user will be banned.

The foundation said that any action taken to protect the encyclopedia would not prevent Chinese speakers from joining the community or volunteers working for free and open knowledge in China.

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