Wikipedia’s ability to keep a balance on China-related issues has been called into question after this world-wide web encyclopedia enforced a ban preventing various “editors” in China from writing and updating pages.
Against the backdrop of the tensions between Hong Kong and China, the stifled protests of 2019 and 2020 have turned into a war of words between Wikipedia editors who are in favor of Beijing and those who are against.
Anyone can edit most Wikipedia pages, but only a fraction of users tend to do so and only a few of them do it on a regular basis.
Things came to a head in September when Wikipedia’s governing body vetor seven active editors with visions favorable to Beijing and removed the administrative powers of 12 others.
Those involved were accused of intimidating and intimidating publishers who took a different position.
But pro-Beijing voices participating in a BBC Click investigation say the actions will mean that narratives related to China and Hong Kong will be skewed towards a Western point of view.
“Wikipedia, especially Chinese Wikipedia, is a balance,” says Enming Yan, a former site administrator with greater editing powers who now lives outside of China. He has been kicked off the platform, but denies doing it wrong.
“It is eliminating pro-Beijing voices, and therefore the balance will now tilt towards anti-Beijing forces within Wikipedia.”
However, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says that the principles of freedom of expression and platform neutrality apply globally.