zt 史无前例 维基百科对数名中国大陆编辑下达禁令

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由网民自行管理及编辑撰写词条的中文维基百科近日史无前例地下达禁令,撤销7名中国大陆用户的登录权和其他12名用户的管理和编辑权。

根据香港英文媒体《香港自由新闻(Hong Kong Free Press)》星期二(9月14日)独家报道,维基百科基金会之所以作出这一决定,是因为这些中国大陆用户利用职权威胁要向香港警方国安处举报维基百科的香港编辑或管理员。

《香港自由新闻》今年7月曾经报道说,自2019年香港爆发反修例抗议示威运动以来,香港和大陆的维基百科编辑对事态认定和描述方面出现政治分歧。报道说,在中国大陆维基编辑的QQ群里,有人发话说,“将香港用户组都(向国安处)举报了吧。”一位资深的香港维基编辑用户向《香港自由新闻》表示,QQ群组对话内容属实,此事还促使维基百科管理高层召开紧急会议,并提供避免遭到人肉搜索的指引。

港版国安法去年在香港实施后,维基百科曾经发表声明称,不会将非公开的用户资讯与政府分享,除非有明确的法治要求或是有立即的生命危险。

另据《香港自由新闻》报道,中国维基编辑与香港维基编辑还曾为什么是可靠消息来源发生争论。中国大陆编辑中有人希望将北京官媒,例如中国环球电视网(CGTN)当作可靠消息来源,而将已被迫关闭的“苹果日报”和“立场新闻”视为不可信消息来源。香港编辑则对这些认知持反对态度。相关争论在涉及香港发生的警民冲突等事件时就因为定性和描述上的分歧就更趋严重。

据报道,自2019年起,6名新当选的新中文维基管理员中,只有两名为香港人,其中一人曾表态支持中国政府,另一位则未作政治表态。

维基百科管理员拥有相当大的权力。他们可以对问题提出建议,可以关闭问题讨论,可以决定是否删除相关文章,可以将违规的用户禁言,更可以将有争议的文章置于保护状态,防止编辑互攻或恶意损毁。

维基百科会在用户中举行管理员选举,而管理员一旦当选不仅可以掌控用户的更多资讯,而且拥有更高级别的编辑权限。过去就有报道说,中方管理员竞争者曾经在维基体制外违规为自己拉票。

维基百科基金会副总裁麦吉∙丹尼斯(Maggie Dennis)星期二在网上发表的一项声明中表示,维基百科基金会对中国大陆一个“并不认识的用户群”进行了调查,并发现有“渗透维基系统,包括获取个人可识别信息以及对选举机制施加影响力”等问题。

丹尼斯所说的是中国大陆一个拥有将近300人的维基用户群。维基百科基金会承认香港的维基用户群,但是并不承认中国大陆的维基用户群。

中国政府2019年开始屏蔽了维基百科,但是某些用户仍然很活跃。

丹尼斯说,有些维基用户因为这些渗透而遭受了“身体伤害”,但是并没有透露细节。“由于这一点得到证实,我们没有选择,只能作出断然和适当的回应。”

不过丹尼斯强调,基金会并不认为任何用户的个资遭到泄漏。

丹尼斯承认,对中国大陆7名用户实施不得登录维基百科的永久禁令,同时取消其他12名用户的管理员特权是相当“极端”和“前所未有”的行动。
 

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Exclusive: Wikipedia bans 7 mainland Chinese power users over ‘infiltration and exploitation’ in unprecedented clampdown​

The move by the Wikimedia Foundation came after "long and deep investigations" into a group of mainland Chinese users, two months after HKFP revealed that some of them allegedly threatened to report their Hong Kong peers to the city's national security police.

The foundation that oversees Wikipedia has taken unprecedented action to ban seven mainland Chinese users from its websites globally and revoke administrator access and other privileges for 12 other users, following an HKFP report of alleged threats to Hong Kong users.

HKFP revealed in July that mainland Chinese Wikipedia editors allegedly threatened to report Hong Kong users for national security violations, posing a physical risk to them.

HKFP also reported on fears among Hong Kong users over election canvassing within the online encyclopaedia as users from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan angled for coveted administrator access. There were also “editing wars” over politically sensitive articles about current events in the city.


Wikipedia hosts elections for users wishing to become administrators, who enjoy more access to users and greater powers to edit articles. There were past reports that users of the Chinese edition engaged in election canvassing outside of Wikipedia to try to ensure the election of mainland administrators.

The Wikimedia Foundation investigated an “unrecognized group” of Wikipedia users from mainland China and identified “security risks” relating to “infiltration of Wikimedia systems, including positions with access to personally identifiable information and elected bodies of influence,” Maggie Dennis, the foundation’s vice president of community resilience & sustainability, said in an online statement on Tuesday.

She was referring to a group of almost 300 Wikipedia users known as Wikimedians of Mainland China (WMC), which, unlike the Hong Kong user group (WMHKG), is not recognised by the foundation.

The Chinese government in 2019 blocked its citizens from accessing Wikipedia, although some users have remained active in the community.

‘Physically harmed’

Some Wikipedia users were “physically harmed as a result of such infiltration,” Dennis said, without elaborating. “With this confirmed, we have no choice but to act swiftly and appropriately in response.”

However she said the foundation does not believe users’ personal information was exposed.

Dennis described the latest action by the foundation as “radical” and “unprecedented in scope and nature.” Seven users from the Chinese Wikipedia were permanently banned from the website and any subsidiary sites, while 12 others had their administrator access and privileges removed.

The foundation found “not only people deliberately seeking to ingratiate themselves with their communities in order to obtain access and advance an agenda contrary to open knowledge goals, but also individuals who have become vulnerable to exploitation and harm by external groups because they are already trusted insiders,” Dennis said.

The Wikipedia community is under danger of “attack through the extortion or potentially persecution of publicly identifiable people with access to personal information,” she said.

Wikipedia is overseen by the Wikimedia Foundation, a US-based non-profit. The crowd-sourced encyclopaedia emphasises community engagement. Most of its content and even its rules are written, decided on and enforced by its own users and the elected administrators. Actions to ban users or revoke access are relatively rare.

Behaviour such as significant and repeated harassment of users, making threats, or other long-term abuses may ultimately lead to a global ban by the foundation. Since 2012 it has imposed bans on a total of 93 users including the latest cases.

Extortion and election canvassing​

Of the banned users, one using the handle “Techyan” is a founding member of Wikimedians of Mainland China (WMC), while another one known as “Alexander Misel” had top-level access to Wikipedia websites. A user named in HKFP’s July report, “Walter Grassroot”, was also banned.

A member of a WMC chat group, using the same handle, suggested reporting Hong Kong users to the city’s national security police hotline, although the original “Walter Grassroot” denied involvement.

Banned users will be blocked from using or creating alternative accounts. Attempts to secure anonymous access from known IP locations will also be blocked. In some cases, banned users can appeal to a case review committee.

In addition to the outright bans and the forfeiture of administrator privileges, 12 users received warnings from the foundation about canvassing behaviour during elections.

The foundation will host a public session in the next few weeks to address these issues as well as to discuss how it can approach future elections to avoid “community ‘capture,'” Dennis said. “We need to make sure that the community can hold fair elections, without canvassing or fraud.”

A veteran member of the Hong Kong Wikipedia user group told HKFP the move came as “a total surprise” and its scope appeared extensive. The removal of a large number of active administrators from the website’s Chinese edition may cause a backlog in administrative duties, he said. The user spoke on conditions of anonymity, citing fears for his own safety.

‘Struggle until victory’​


The China user group WMC criticised the foundation’s actions, saying the allegations against its users were “unnecessary” and not supported by evidence. They were not given a right of reply before being banned, the group said.

“The foundation did not consider whether those who made complaints or submitted evidence had conflicts of interests with WMC, and whether they identify politically with the radical [ideas of] ‘Hong Kong independence,’ ‘Taiwan independence’ or ‘anti-communist’,” the group said in a statement entitled “Let go of fantasies, prepare to struggle.”

The foundation’s claims of election canvassing were comparable to vote-rigging conspiracies during the last US presidential elections, the group said. “Those who called for democracy are the most anti-democratic. In their eyes, it’s only democratic when election results satisfy their wishes.”

WMC said the Wikimedia foundation had failed to support mainland Chinese users or WMC itself, which continued to contribute to the website despite it being blocked in China.

“Their true target is the entirety of the Chinese Wikipedia community, and not us at WMC,” the statement said. “The foundation has abandoned mainland China, they don’t care about our life or death… We do the most ‘dangerous’ work in China, but you have turned back to eliminate our community.”

However, the group was open to discussions with the foundation, it said.

It ended its statement with a call to fellow mainland Wikipedia users: “Use your actions to tell everyone the mainland user community is not made from clay. The more they suppress us, the more we will resist. Now is the time for you to stand up. Struggle, fail, struggle again and fail again, and struggle once more… until victory!”

HKFP has reached out to the Wikimedia Foundation, WMC and user “Walter Grassroot” for comment.
 
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