Opinion: Wikipedia Has A Language Problem. Here’s How To Fix It.

Wikipedia doesn’t precisely take pleasure in a status as probably the most dependable supply on the web. However a report launched in June by the Wikimedia Basis, which operates Wikipedia, means that the digital encyclopedia’s misinformation woes could run even deeper than lots of its English-speaking customers notice.

  Within the report’s abstract, the muse acknowledged that a small community of volunteer directors of the Croatian-language model of Wikipedia have been abusing their powers and distorting articles “in a manner that matched the narratives of political organizations and teams that may broadly be outlined because the Croatian radical proper.” For nearly a decade, the rogue directors have been altering pages to whitewash crimes dedicated by Croatia’s Nazi-allied Ustasha regime throughout World Struggle II and to advertise a fascist worldview. For instance, it was reported in 2018 that Auschwitz — which English Wikipedia unambiguously deems a focus camp — was referred to on Croatian Wikipedia as a “assortment camp,” a time period that carries fewer unfavorable connotations. The Jasenovac focus camp, referred to as Croatia’s Auschwitz, was additionally known as a set camp.

Croatian Wikipedia customers have been calling consideration to related discrepancies since at the least 2013, however the Wikimedia Basis started taking motion solely final 12 months. That the disinformation marketing campaign went unchecked for thus lengthy speaks to a elementary weak point of Wikipedia’s crowdsourced strategy to high quality management: It really works provided that the gang is giant, various, and unbiased sufficient to reliably weed out assertions that run counter to reality.

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