Tuesday, August 9

Chinese editor wrote untruths about Russia on Wikipedia for years | Digital Trends Spanish

A fraud of proportions shakes Wikipediasince it was discovered that a Chinese user named Zhemao, who since 2019 has been writing false stories about medieval and feudal Russia.

In total there were 206 articles uploaded to the collaborative encyclopedia, of which, according to Vice World Newsis a text almost as long as The Great Gatsby.

Zhemao detailed the Tatar uprisings in Russia in the 17th century and was supported by a map of the country during that time. In another article, the user shared rare images of ancient Russian coins that were supposedly obtained from archaeologists.

Chinese novelist Yifan was the one who exposed the hoax in a post on a Quora-like website. Yifan came across one of his articles describing a silver mine that provided a source of wealth for Russia in the 14th and 15th centuries while researching a new book. The article was reportedly so detailed that it included information about the composition of the soil, the structure of the mine, and the refining processes used in the silver. But when Yifan tried to verify Zhemao’s references with Russian speakers, it was revealed that the pages or versions of the books he cited did not even exist.

A group of volunteer editors reviewed his work in response and found that his citations didn’t add up or that he was fabricating information from legitimate sources that were too obscure to be verified by casual users. As a crowdsourced online encyclopedia, Wikipedia relies on its contributors to regulate itself. in an article about its reliabilityWikipedia said it maintains an inclusion threshold of “verifiability, not truth.”

Chinese Wikipedian John Yip told Vice that “Zhemao single-handedly invented a new way to undermine Wikipedia.”

Zhemao, in a post on your profile, admitted to making up his entire identity and fabricating information. She said that she does not live in Russia and that her husband is not Russian but Chinese.

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