UK media is reporting about “edit wars” on Wikipedia between pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and pro-democracy editors on issues relating to Hong Kong, largely on the Chinese-language site but also on the English version. According to a BBC article:
October 30, 2021 The investigation by BBC Click uncovered “edit wars” between pro-Beijing and pro-democracy editors on issues relating to Hong Kong, largely on the Chinese-language site but also on the English version. “Pro-Beijing people often remove content that is sympathetic to protests, such as tear gas being fired and images of barricades. They also add their own content,” says a Hong Kong-based editor named “John”, who wanted to remain anonymous because of fears of intimidation. But he acknowledges that “edit wars” happen on both sides. “Pro-democracy editors tend to add content to shift the balance or the tone of the article, but in my experience, the pro-Beijing editors are a lot more aggressive in churning out disinformation,” he says. “It’s now unfixable without external interference. Someone is trying to rewrite history.” He says many of the pro-Beijing editors are patriotic citizens living outside China, while those editing from within the mainland are using methods like VPNs (virtual private networks) to circumvent the government’s block on the site.
One example of the “edit wars” is an article in the Chinese-language Wikipedia about an incident in Hong Kong in 2019, referred to as the Yuen Long attack. It took place amid the Hong Kong protests, when around 100 white-shirted men, thought to have links with the pro-Beijing camp, attacked people at a transport station. One of two pictures — a screen grab from a video that shows the white-shirted men walking with Hong Kong police — which initially appeared side-by-side on the page, was removed. This was followed by at least 123 edits made to the text of the article within the space of two days in August 2020. Words such as “rural factions” to describe the men would be edited to “terrorists”. And “conflict” and “terror attack” would be interchanged to describe the situation.
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