Thousands of Wikipedia pages have been filled with swastikas

Thousands of Wikipedia pages have been filled with swastikas

A user just registered on the platform has modified an article template used for 53 thousand items. The vandalism was quickly resolved, but cast doubts on the safety of the online encyclopedia

Photo: via Ann Coulter (Twitter) Tens of thousands of pages of Wikipedia, the largest free online encyclopedia, were filled of swastikas yesterday. Among these were a large number of pages of celebrities, writers and politicians, also replaced by full pages of black and white swastikas on a red background.

Among the pages that were vandalized were those of the US President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, as well as stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck and Madonna.

After the fact was reported by users to administrators, Wikipedia has fixed the problem in a short time.

The manager has modified an article template that is used on about 53,000 pages, Gizmodo reported. The user was able to circumvent the typical protections put on some Wikipedia pages, which however is not immune to attacks of this type, although rarely of the same size

The vandal who made the changes, he was first joined the site community about ten days ago, and has now been banned indefinitely.

When it comes to protecting the words and images on a page, the army of admins Wikipedia is very fast, but the need to protect models has apparently been overlooked, as admitted by some of the administrators themselves. Most used templates are locked, but some seem to remain editable by anyone.

A spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation told Gizmodo that "particularly vile action" is "unacceptable" and "violates a number of Wikipedia policies". The volunteer administrators "have already resolved the vandalism, blocked the accountable account and will further evaluate the situation to see if further recourse is needed," said the spokesperson.

"Over the years, they have developed numerous tools and processes to quickly identify and restore vandalism on the site, ”he continued. Most vandalism on Wikipedia “is corrected in five minutes, as we saw today”.

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