Falun Gong was Frustrated in its Attack to Wikipedia
Author: Gregory Drogba
“Everyone can be an editor” is one of the slogans of Wikipedia. But, some anonymous editor should watch out.
In the article named Pressure and Lobbying – Falun Gong’s Tricks against Media Criticism, it writes that the emerging Falun Gong used to bribe web management staff of Wikipedia. Out of our expectations, after the article was published, the story had an unexpected sequel.
According to the edit record of Wikipedia, from April to May, 2016, the article concerning Falun Gong had been edited for over 250 times! We can imagine that most of the modification was trying to use information favorable to Falun Gong to replace the original objective entries in Wikipedia.
These editors do not like us to speak negatively about Falun Gong. For instance, publications of Falun Gong were listed in extremism publications in Russia, and Falun Gong was banned by the court in Kirgizia. Moreover, it was prohibited in China, and followers who claim themselves as “true, kind and tolerant” failed in their lawsuits with reporters.
Staff with Wikipedia had to provide special protection to the article in case the followers modify the information again.
Members of Falun Gong knew clearly that they could not boast themselves anymore, so they made up articles about “Falun Gong Theory” and “History of Falun Gong”. According to maintainers with Wikipedia, there used to be official homepage website of Falun Gong on Wikipedia. Some people required Wikipedia use prominent typographies for Falun Gong website and the content related to “persecutions to Falun Gong”.
Members of Falun Gong even attacked maintainers with Wikipedia. They accused them “violating the rule” and “hired by China Communist Party”, and sent them e-mails to propagate “the only truth”.
On the pages of Wikipedia managing staff who “made wrong decisions”, they put long articles to persuade them believe the “truth” and “kindness” of Falun Gong, and said people who criticize Falun Gong should feel ashamed. After that, there appeared a long criticizing article on Wikipedia BBS, requiring delete of negative articles of Falun Gong and punishment to website managers.
An entry regarding Falun Gong as a heresy made the followers very unhappy. This entry includes studies of many researchers, including two doctors and two B. Litts who consider Falun Gong as a heresy in their books. According to the standard of Wikipedia, publications from Institute of Philosophy of Russia Institute of Science are authorized resources that can hardly be modified. But the followers thought of an unpredicted method. They said these articles had quoted Li Hongzhi and violated American copyright, and required delete the links. However, as long as the origin was noted in the article, writers can quote from others. So no one believed the followers.
Obviously, the followers didn’t know that during the 15-year work of Wikipedia, this kind of argument is not new any more. Experienced website managers are familiar with these tricks. Some of the information was banned according to the rules of Wikipedia and two accounts were locked forever because of “producing virus”.
To show “extensive support”, a follower may register more than one account. One of them was prohibited to upload information for a whole day, and another two were also warned. The articles and websites promoting Falun Gong were deleted. After that, followers became less enthusiastic about doing tricks on Wikipedia. But as predicted by maintainers with Wikipedia, they will return some time later. Since 2008, entries related to Falun Gong have been periodically checked.
Where did they come from?
Wikipedia can be registered anonymously. You can even use it without registration. Besides, Wikipedia doesn’t require users to show their belief in the register. But if a group of users care nothing but repost links of “master’s” (what followers call Li Hongzhi) words, people will notice that.
There are problems on other versions of Wikipedia. For instance, in English version, “official” entries were illegally put onto the website. The entry considered Falun Gong as a “traditional Chinese school”, and the founder was not the forest police retired in 1992. Of course, before 1992, no matter in China or in other countries, no one had heard of Falun Gong. But Falun Gong followers insisted to call it a mysterious Chinese tradition. These boasting stories were all wiped out in English e-books, paper encyclopedias and expert appraisals.