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Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:29 am
by The End
BBC News: China and Taiwan clash over Wikipedia edits

Honestly, I'm surprised the Chinese waited so long before edit warring over Taiwan. You'd think this would have been the longest-going edit war in Wikipedia's history.

Re: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:01 am
by Kumioko
The End wrote:BBC News: China and Taiwan clash over Wikipedia edits

Honestly, I'm surprised the Chinese waited so long before edit warring over Taiwan. You'd think this would have been the longest-going edit war in Wikipedia's history.

Not a very well written article IMO but it's an interesting read. It's no surprise really that they found tendentious edits with regard to politics, that's true on basically every wiki and the only reason they didn't find more problematic edits than they did is because they likely just stopped looking.

China and Taiwan have been fighting basically forever and China tried very hard to make themselves look a lot better than they are.

Also remember that China blocked Wikipedia, so the edits would be far worse if they were able to actively edit without evasive editing tactics.

Re: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:06 am
by The End
I wonder if the Chinese Wikipedia is polarized or primarily pro-Beijing? I would assume the Chinese government in Beijing would have the manpower and resources to push out any pro-Taiwan and pro-Tibet editors.

Re: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:42 am
by Graaf Statler
The real wiki fun of course start at the moment governments start to realise what wikipedia is. And that is not what it seems to be.

Wait what will happend if the Belgium/Dutch government find out a convicted drugs dealer was a leading sysop on WP-En out of his state hotel and has putted a respected Dutch civilian as Guido aside as a pedo.
Wait till my government found out what the Dutch Erasmus price community has done to me, also a respected Dutch civilian. The Dutch community what is infiltrated in many official Dutch state institutes, and with the exiting woman Technical Shitstorm on the expenses, better not to write down who has paid that.

That will cause the real wiki fire work! China and Taiwan clash over Wikipedia edits? Well, that is where wikipedia for is, isn't it? But this, this is the real hot stuff! A atomic fragmentation bomb will be less effective!

look what we have done with that nice, tasty cops of coffee cup what you gave to us. See what a nice pirate flags we have bought for it. Well, ok, that French wiki chick what has beaten Romaine with that pirate flag because he talked to loud was over the top, we agree, but that is later corrected by our skilled T&S team.

Online safety has been a top priority for us, so we made the place a lot safer and have SanFanBanned Graaf Statler. Yes, that Statler of Sucks, or better Fucks with terrible friends like Badmachine, De Kolonel and Guido, that dirt box you remember? Yes, THAT Guido, and our top sysop Fram found out what kind of person that really was. Yes, together wit the Dutch professor Drmies.

Self regulated community's, that is where we believe in you know.

Re: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:46 am
by ericbarbour
From the book wiki:
Chinese Wikipedia

Zh-Wikipedia contained 507,000 articles and 1.255 million registered users as of mid-2012. By mid-2013 the number of articles had grown to 715,000, and to 919,000 by 2017. Apparently there are only about 250 heavy editors, and they are using translation bots to generate most of this "content" from en-WP articles. Google translation leaves something to be desired: "Wikipedia is a content free, anyone can participate, and multilingual encyclopedia cooperative program. Our goal is to create a complete, accurate and neutral encyclopedia."

Per this 2013 article:

"When Yuan Mingli posted the first Chinese-language entry on Wikipedia in November 2002, he had no idea that the website was on the verge of becoming a globally influential movement. Yuan, then a 26-year-old postgraduate student at Peking University, only intended to create an online "notebook". Wikipedia, the biggest online encyclopedia, run by the US-based non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, had only been launched the previous year and Yuan learned of it a few weeks before he made his first entry, when there was no Chinese version. The site impressed Yuan, who majored in mathematics, and so he spent about a month studying the English version and then two weeks building the Chinese homepage and some basic web pages."

"Many Chinese Wikipedians, unable to access the site for almost two years, switched to copycat sites, including Baidu and Hudong's encyclopedias. During the "Big Block", it was hard to find fellow Wikipedians to meet and chat with offline, Yuan says. He had organised mainland Wikipedians' first public gathering, in Beijing in July 2004. After graduating from Peking University in 2005, he moved to Shanghai and continued to meet other site contributors. The meetings, however, soon dried up. Mainland Wikipedians had organised 40 public gatherings since the inaugural event, but there were none in 2007 or 2008, and only one in 2009. "The community shrunk massively during the block," Yuan says. "Many newcomers left." It is still unclear why censors blocked the whole site and why it later became accessible again."

According to the EPIC-Oxford study of Wikipedia accuracy, published August 2012[32], they chose not to study the Chinese Wikipedia, because: "The Chinese Wikipedia was found to be heavily censored and was therefore excluded as it would possibly confound the research results." This information was derived from a "China Task Force" report compiled in 2009-2010, which is now prominently tagged on all pages "This wiki has been closed per community discussion." Heavily involved in this project: Philippe Beaudette, despite his not knowing how to read or speak Chinese. It prominently mentions that online encyclopedias run by Hudong and Baidu were far more popular than zh-WP. The talkpage mentions other encyclopedia projects that are more popular than zh-WP. The "China Task Force" project was subsequently closed down and forgotten.

In 2016 a stink ensued on zh-WP over administrator "AddisWang", who was accused of "corruption". Apparently by sockpuppet accounts which were claimed to have connections to the Chinese government. A little-noticed Meta RFC mentioned it. It received no media coverage. [33]

A little-noticed 2018 row involved the removal of all checkusers from zh-WP by the ever-glorious James Alexander, who mush-mouthed his way around the scandal. Apparently they were working for the Chinese Communist Party and using Wikipedia to look for "dissidents". As with the AddisWang controversy, this received almost no media attention. [34][35][36]

"The plain truth of things is that we are in an unspoken cultural war with the Chinese Communist Party, one we started by pushing market structures onto a Maoist state that had just come out of a Cultural Revolution. However the battleground is within both the United States and every country with a diaspora "overseas Chinese" community; the war in America is about promoting the glory of Chinese culture (as overseen/supported by the CCP), especially through the Confucius Institutes that have popped up in most of the major universities - they do cultural promotion and help colleges start or beef up their Mandarin Chinese courses. They also run Chinese language immersion in grade schools, but supposedly they won't talk about what happened in 1989, what happened to the kid who was the Dalai Lama's successor (or the resettlement of Han Chinese into Tibet, which is mangling Tibetan culture), why the Three Gorges Dam was a bad idea, the endless anti-corruption campaigns inside the CCP, etc. Did I mention that the People's Liberation Army pays for the Confucius Institutes? That certain universities have thrown their CI office out, while others (like San Diego State U.) have dug in even deeper? Everything going on at zh.Wikipedia or en.Wikipedia concerning Chinese subjects is part of this soft-power war as well, because the mainland Chinese state and Party sees all outside Chinese as possible future citizens and all Chinese culture as something they must manage. "

Re: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:37 pm
by CrowsNest
The only thing worth saying is that this piece was authored by the BBC's technology department, not their China desk.

I seriously doubt there is anyone in BBC Click (essentially their "gadget show" with occasional serious reporting) who is remotely capable of assessing whether this.....
BBC Click's investigation has found almost 1,600 tendentious edits across 22 politically sensitive articles. We cannot verify who made each of these edits, why, or whether they reflect a more widespread practice. However, there are indications that they are not all necessarily organic, nor random. a sign of state interference, or just the usual ways and means that organized groups have been able to manipulate Wikipedia content, because Wikipedia is easily manipulated, and the people who care the least about fixing that gigantic feature bug, is arguably Wikipedia!

Which explains why this statement was included in this report......
Attributing online activity to states is often impossible, and there is also no direct, proven link between any of these edits and the Chinese government.
And it's an obvious red herring to try and claim it exists simply by pointing out the fact states are clearly manipulating Facebook and Twitter.

Chinese academics and politicians have every right to call for their citizens to edit Wikipedia, because there can't be any doubt that statements like "Taiwan ..... is a state in East Asia.[14][15][16]" fails Wikipedia's idea of neutrality for a whole number of reasons, particularly the fact [15][16] not only don't say it, they contradict it. That's not state interference, that's self-defense in an information warfare age.

If Wikipedia hasn't effectively brought together the Chinese diaspora so that it reflects the obvious differences of opinion in Chinese society that will be reflected by edits coming from inside China, then that's on Wikipedia. The global Wikipedia community couldn't even get the British and Irish to cooperate on similarly controversial questions, like what is Northern Ireland? Answer: it's complicated.

In the Irish case, Wikipedia actually heightened the dispute, their amateur hour encyclopedia being the only place you can find any evidence there is a dispute over the name of the "British Isles". There's a dispute over whether it includes the sovereign state of Ireland, but what do you expect from a bunch of thick micks who deliberately called their state after an island, despite not being in control of the whole island? Don't recall that ever being pinned on state interference, even though it featured socking, tag teaming and the entire gammut of tendentious editing.

Board members of Wikimedia Taiwan are hardly reliable sources when it comes to who is doing what it why, hence why the BBC attributes every word they say. Take it out, and is there even a story here? Other than the rather obvious man bites dog nature of noting the volatility of Wikipedia's controversial content.

The real story is that there is actually no active discussion on the talk page of the English Wikipedia article for Taiwan about the right form of words for the introduction. There is also no easy way for anyone to learn from the archives how the form of words was arrived at, what sources they consulted, which community members were involved. Even though it is clear such a thing, if Wikipedia worked as advertised, should have been subject to discussion (and periodic review).

This piece celebrates the fact that such a task is theoretically possible if you want to spend the next month looking through the edit history and the nearly 30 pages of talk archives, when it should be slamming Wikipedia and the Wikipedians for such a negligent approach to transparency, which after a certain point, has to be assumed to be a deliberate tactic to exclude people they don't want to edit the article back to neutrality. Become a Wikipediot first, then you can have your say. The mantra of the cult, a process of indoctrination and manipulation as fucked up as Chinese state messaging you'll ever hear.

Verifiability not truth. Global knowledge not parochial opinion. All significant viewpoints as reflected by reliable sources represented. Don't take sides in disputes. Be open, but protect a defensible consensus.

Practice what you preach, you slimy motherfuckers. You're the Wikipedians, you're the ones to blame if Wikipedia is shit. Autonomous self-governance, remember?

If you compare the example of Ireland, that lack of evident ongoing dispute or traceable consensus for that one single statement, is pretty good evidence some shady shit is going on. Shady as in the perfectly ordinary and widely understood (by serious critics) means Wikipedia can be manipulated, accidentally or on purpose. And rather than speculating the Chinese government is up to no good, why wouldn't you conclude the failure of the opening sentence of that article to meet neutrality right now, is at best a product of Wikipedia's well known systemic bias, or at worst, evidence that pro-Taiwan editors or even the Taiwan state, have improperly manipulated Wikipedia?

This BBC article has of course been mentioned in the article talk page as worthy of reading, and of course the first Wikipedian to comment has highlighted only the parts that would worry the people with the right point of view. A random Wikipedian, or Taiwanese state actor? Who knows. Only matters if they have a history of non-neutral edits. Takes time to review, but a handy shortcut is their belief in "Old Fashioned Wikipedian Values". Essentially Wikipedia code for saying my shit doesn't stink. So it probably does.

The starting point of any article like this should be to point out the rather obvious fact that Wikipedia is already inherently biased, as in systemic bias, and that alone means statements like "the largest collection of human knowledge ever amassed" need to replace the word "knowledge" with something more appropriate.

The status of Taiwan is disputed. The idea it is even a state is disputed, as per the very references included at the end of that first line which call it a state in Wikipedia's voice! While Wikipedia might begrudgingly accept that a real world dispute exists in the rest of the article, it's no accident the shit they feed Siri et al lacks that nuance. According to that dumb bitch, Taiwan is a state, she neither knows or cares what even the references supposedly supporting that statement actually say. At least we can thank her for not adding "sovereign" I guess, although that's a distinction that is likely lost on the school kids being fed this garbage by the trainee teachers raised on (and probably writing, as failed/frustrated academics) Wikipedia.

There's an argument to say that the first line of that article should simply read (for Siri) "Taiwan, that's some crazy shit, and if you've got half an hour, take a seat and let me explain why".

Maybe in another twenty years it will, but then again maybe by then the Chinese state will have just overrun the Western world, plugging our decadent asses into their giant human battery.

HTD (Wikipedia is destroyed, not the human battery thing).