Russian Government Tries to Rewrite History on Wikipedia

Russian Government Tries to Rewrite History on Wikipedia

posted Friday Jul 18, 2014 by Scott Ertz

Russian Government Tries to Rewrite History on Wikipedia

As the world recovers from the shock of the attack on the Malaysian passenger flight, the race to create the history of the event is already underway. Building on the @CongressEdits Wikipedia monitor software, @RuGovEdits detected an edit made to a Wikipedia article by the Russian government. Someone within the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), the state-owned "news" agency, edited the Russian language article List of aircraft accidents in civil aviation.

The original text, as translated by Bing, read,

The aircraft (was) shot down by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people's Republic of China of missile launchers "Beech", which were obtained by terrorists from the Russian Federation.

The edited text, also translated by Bing, reads,

The plane (was) brought down (by) the Ukrainian military.

While the allure of being the first one to write history is strong, this shows strong evidence of the truth of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The technology and process could not have been imaginable to him, but the outcome certain was. Today, personal marketing is all about character assassination, or character protection, depending on which side you stand. In this case, it is character protection for the Russian government, who clearly do not want the world to associate them with this incident.

The problem here lies in the issue of truth over nonsense. There has been evidence of Russian involvement, even just in the supplying of the weapons, but the Russian government has denied all involvement, continuing to claim that the perpetrators acted alone. Here, they are going so far as to insist it, even online. Even though we may not know for sure what the truth is, we can be sure that the Russian government wants us to believe this as the truth, thanks to a little code from a socially conscious programmer.

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