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.
.....is 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." fails Wikipedia's idea of neutrality for a whole number of reasons, particularly the fact  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).