Chinese Wikipedia becomes a battleground between China and Hong Kong Chinese editor says he reported Hong Kong editors to state security

In Hong Kong, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), an independent English-language media outlet, reported on Sunday (11) that since the 2019 anti-revision campaign, the Chinese Wikipedia (Wikipedia), which is managed and edited and written by netizens themselves, has erupted into an information war, with Hong Kong and Chinese editors at odds, with some Chinese editors even speaking out and saying they would report Hong Kong editors to the State Security.

In a QQ group of Chinese wiki editors, a Chinese wiki user with the screen name Walter Grassroot, reportedly said, “Report all the Hong Kong user groups (to the National Security Agency).” A senior Hong Kong wiki editor user said that the QQ group conversation was true and caused Wikipedia officials to immediately hold an emergency meeting at that time and urged users not to humanly search for other users.

Two local wiki users, “Dasze” and “1233”, were very concerned about the behavior and accused the Chinese editors of violating the values of cooperation and mutual trust that enable Wikipedia to build, contribute, and collaborate. When the Hong Kong National Security Law was implemented last year, Wikipedia issued a statement that it would not share non-public user information with the government unless there was a clear legal requirement or immediate danger to life.

In addition, HKFP said that Chinese editors and Hong Kong editors are currently arguing over the reliability of Wikipedia’s sources. Some wiki editors rate Beijing’s official media, such as the China Global Television Network (CGTN), as a reliable source, and list the shuttered Apple Daily and Standpoint News as not credible. Conversely, Hong Kong editors were not correct in their ratings of the above. The related controversy affects the description and characterization of the Hong Kong 7.21 Yuen Long terrorist attack and the brick hitting the old man in Sheung Shui.

Of the six new Chinese Wikimedians elected since 2019, only two are Hong Kong residents, one of whom has stated his support for the Chinese government and the other has not made a political statement.

Wikipedia administrators have quite a bit of power. They can make their own suggestions on issues, close discussions, decide whether to delete articles, ban users who violate the rules, and give articles protected status to prevent editorial wars and vandalism. However, because the users of Chinese wikis nowadays are mainly Chinese.

Since wikis have played an important role in the dissemination of truth and historical records in the Internet generation, the incident had a great impact on the Chinese world.