Trolls hijack Wikipedia to turn articles against gays

A group of allegedly rogue editors and administrators have allowed Wikipedia to be filled with homophobic and factually incorrect articles

Trolls hijack Wikipedia to turn articles against gays
17 September 2013

A group of homophobic editors have overrun Wikipedia in Croatia in a clear breach of the sites ‘neutral point of view’ policy.

Many Croatian language articles have been altered to portray LGBT people and other minority groups in a negative light, and articles about history have been re-written in a biased way.

One of the articles in question is the Croatian language description of marriage, which now defines it as ‘a social institution and legal contract between two people, a man and a woman, for the purpose of living together and raising offspring.’

Users were threatened with having their accounts blocked when they tried to change the definition to a more inclusive one. The article is now locked and may only be edited by administrators.

In a similar vein, the Croatian article on same-sex marriage was renamed to what translates to ‘marriage and gay’, allegedly due to a user complaining ‘same-sex marriage is an oxymoron and cannot logically exist.’ Arguments in favor of same-sex marriage have been erased.

A GSN source in Croatia told us: ‘Many students use Wikipedia as primary source of information. I suppose they want to indoctrinate people with their biased views on history and LGBT issues.’

And he speculated campaigners against marriage equality were using Wikipedia as a ‘propaganda platform’ ahead of a national call for a referendum to ban same-sex marriage.

The Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sports, has gone so far as to warn students off the Croatian language version of the website, urging them to use the English language version instead.

‘The idea of openness and relevance as a knowledge source that Wikipedia could and should represent has been completely discredited,’ he said in an interview with Novilist.

‘Croatian pupils and students have been wronged by this, so we have to warn them, unfortunately, that a large part of the content of the Croatian version of Wikipedia is not only dubious but also [contains] obvious forgeries, and therefore we invite them to use more reliable sources of information, which include Wikipedia in English and in other major languages of the world.’

Biased Wikipedia articles are by no means unique to Croatia, and many editors in the Balkans seem to treat Wikipedia as a nationalist, rather than neutral, forum.

The level of bias in the Croatian Wikipedia does, however, seem to be extreme even for the Balkans, and media attention is beginning to rise, with one Croatian paper featuring the story on its front page.

These articles are in clear violation of the guidelines set out by Wikipedia, which state: ‘All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view.

‘This policy is nonnegotiable and all editors and articles must follow it.’

It is not yet known what, if any, action shall be taken by the Wikimedia Foundation to restore the site’s neutrality.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

United Arab Emirates introduces discriminatory non-discrimination law

United Arab Emirates introduces discriminatory non-discrimination law

The law cracks down on discrimination on the basis of ethnicity and religion, but says nothing about sexual orientation
No thumbnail available

OITNB co-star Jason Biggs reveals his man crushes: Mark Ruffalo and Billy Crudup

Of Crudup he says: 'He’s quite a sweetheart - and pretty easy to look at'
No thumbnail available

Philippines archbishop: 'Being a homosexual is not a sin'

Pope Francis is to visit the Catholic-majority country on Sunday
Killantringan Light Keepers House, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Killantringan Light Keepers House, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Spectacular views over the Irish Sea and the South-West tip of Scotland, paired with luxury living
No thumbnail available

Rock Hudson play to raise money to fight HIV

'Rock and Doris and Elizabeth' will raise money for Terrence Higgins Trust
No thumbnail available

Gay governor says 'Rome is too dangerous for me at night'

Puglia's governor Nichi Vendola says that 'Rome is a dangerous city for gays and lesbians.' Rome's mayor replies: 'Vendola is offending an entire city.'
No thumbnail available

Texas teacher suspended for being trans

After one parent complained, the school told a substitute teacher to not return as she was a 'distraction' in the classroom
No thumbnail available

Mormon expelled from church after refusing to stop supporting gay rights on his podcast

The Mormon Stories podcasts feature 'delicate topics' such as rights for LGBTI people and the ordination of women
No thumbnail available

Gays sing Kylie as equal marriage passes in England and Wales

House of Lords? Your Disco Needs You, says the gay marriage supporters celebrating outside the Houses of Parliament
5 things a square meter in London's Kensington could buy you

5 things a square meter in London's Kensington could buy you

In London's most expensive borough, a sqaure meter costs an average of £12,000 - that's enough for a fairly comfortable round-the-world-trip