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Case 12 editor of the Russian "Wikipedia"

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a group of users blocked after checking their edits - positive and negative of the governors of the opposition.

July 4th is over check "Wikipedia" user group of Russian-speaking editor, suspected of having coordinated and biased edits materials on politics: governors, the opposition and opposition media. According to her the results of some of them were blocked on charges of violating the principles of neutrality and creating a "virtuals" - different accounts, in fact, ongoing one and the same user and designed to hide this fact.

This is the first case in the history of the Russian-language "Wikipedia", when a large enough group of users is convicted of politically motivated manipulation of information in the encyclopedia. TJ talks about the progress and results of the inspection, as well as just about anyone edit articles, and they tried to attribute to these heroes.

What is the charge and who was

The investigation was initiated by the standard procedure , which is the online encyclopedia called "Testing the participants." Within its framework is one of the members makes a proposal to check the other party or group, to the defense and to other users "Wikipedia" gives the word, and then have sufficient editorial rights participants take out a verdict: for example, that several users are in fact one and the same.

"The reason for the existence of user authentication procedure that editors in "Wikipedia" is not obliged itself as something to identify to be able to make or suggest changes to the content. However, the identity of the user (for example, that he was working in someone's interests or for money) can be traced to the nature of the page history, but it is difficult to do, if it is shared among multiple users. This is often used publicists and advertisers to create multiple accounts to be more difficult to keep track of - but usually gives explicit promotional nature of any particular changes. After this check is initiated, and on IP-addresses (which are recorded for all revisions) and other indirect signs (eg, date of account creation, themes and style) feykovye accounts are identified and blocked for violation of the rules - for example,conflict of interest (user or advertiser, and "Wikipedia"), violation of the neutral point of view (in the encyclopedia can not be used value judgments) or for maintaining revisions of the war , when, instead of trying to reach consensus on two opposing sides cancel each other's changes."

Check on the case 12 editors initiated Mikhail Gruznov - the creator of the service " Vikifay ", whose main task is to work with commercial information in the "Wikipedia", but in compliance with the rules of the encyclopedia. In a conversation with TJ, he explained that sells customers the time and expertise to work in "Wikipedia": "We are open and are not ashamed of their contribution. This is the key difference from blocked users, which is not exactly guided by the common good. "

Gruznov found several users who ruled articles about opposition members and governors, as well as about the conditionally considered opposition publications (such as "Medusa" and "Echo of Moscow"), and found that they have common features. As a result, he formed a list of 12 accounts: four - Flint1972, Zergeist2, Sebastian and Vladislav 1987 - cuschestvovali on "Wikipedia" for a long time, and even eight - Nefedechev, Baydarka, Vasgrom, Ivan Kucherov, P.miner77, Tonnay-Charente, Pluzhnikov and Oldfishkeeper - were created in the period from October 2018 to January 2019, with three of them - Vasgrom, Ivan Kucherov and P.miner77 - were created on the same day, 17 October.

From "Wikipedia" listed the most experienced participants look Flint1972 and Zergeist2: their accounts have been created yet in 2009 and 2013 respectively, and prior to the "active phase of destructive actions," they got elevated privileges. In Zergeist2 avtopatrulirovaniya flag appeared in April 2018 (which means that all of his article immediately after its creation are considered proven quality) and Flint1972 back in 2013 had a patrol status (it can mark articles and edit other users as-tested). Gruznov believes that these two users due to its weight in the community allowed to verify and leave in "Wikipedia" destructive editing of other editors from the list, but other than that the rest of the band steel in one point - around February - themselves to apply for avtopatrulirovaniya flag

Gruznov accusation was based on the fact that the users' actions are coordinated, although they try to hide it. It is evident that they have common views on politics - a positive attitude towards the authorities and negatively to the non-systemic opposition - while they verified related to each other, and although some of them are canceled, the majority remains, and the whole group is gaining weight among the editors of the community, making it difficult to further cancellation of their destructive edits.

"These participants if there are on the scheme, designed to hide the controversial changes in an array of neutral. Contribution to the "political" articles punctuated edits articles on abstract themes, but sometimes several accounts intersect in a "political" article in a day. Probably, these actions are designed to hide the real purpose uchotok, as well as allowing you to get with the times extended rights."

Michael Gruznov
author of the investigation and the complaints of the user group, the founder of "Vikifay"

What materials are the rules and as a group of editors

The results of its investigation Gruznov made in the summary table in the Google Drive , where multiple sheets assembled overlapping changes and common themes that touches editors. According to these data, some of the users have been dozens of overlapping edits (in the general article) - that is, they are often edited the materials to each other.

A huge reservoir of work lay in the edit page of governors of Russian regions - in fact, all the existing ones. Basically, these revisions were engaged in Tonnay-Charente and Oldfishkeeper: most edits were neutral, but sometimes more Oldfishkeeper and Ivan Kucherov added to the positive characteristics of governors - for example, that they allocate money to address important social issues. In this case, the negative revisions, ie containing criticism of all these users Gruznov found only one - in the article about the governor of Chuvashia Michael Ignatieff added mention of how he accidentally in 2012 live call Dmitry Medvedev "Vasily Petrovich" president.

Examples of positive revisions in the articles about the governor:

 

From the table of interest to the articles about the opposition and different policy can be seen that Tonnay-Charente did not take part in them, but it is actively doing Ivan Kucherov Oldfishkeeper, as well as other users. The greatest number of crossings - that is what interested most of all editors of group - the publication of articles about "Medusa", "Open Russia", FBK, Paul Grudinina, Viktor Shenderovich, Eugene Albats, Ilya Yashin and Love Sable.

For example, in the case of Love Sable in her article added criticism of the investigation of the poisoning of power in Moscow schools (what she accused the company of businessman Eugene Prigogine), and attempts to roll back the other editors such changes blocked. In addition, information about the criticism of her investigation was added in the article about those who criticize it - for example, about Anton Krasovsky.

In the case of Alexei Navalny added criticism and unrelated to him the article. For example, in the material of the SSJ-100 crash in Sheremetyevo added feykovye information with RT that movie about laughing airport employees allegedly spread the supporters Navalny.

According Gruznov from the entire list of users that interested persons (not including governors) only Eugene Prigogine was the one about whom they wrote in a positive way and tried to remove it from the negative material. Because of these actions in one of the participants in "Wikipedia" was the question to the administration about Flint1972: user argued that this editor is waging war edits and constantly returns leaving the disputed information Navalny - and specifically the application by Eugene Prigogine that Navalny allegedly offered to drop charges of poisoning of schoolchildren in exchange for help in the elections in St. Petersburg. But measures to Flint1972 then and was not accepted.

In addition, a possible link with the band Prigogine points and the choice of the critical sources of information, which they added to the articles about the opposition. Among the most popular media, which they referred - RIA FAN, "Economics today», Nation-news.ru and others that connect to a businessman.

Gruznov also wrote political subjects that interested editors. From the summary table shows that the strongest at the intersection of the topics present in the 1987 and Vladislav P.miner77. About the first author of the investigation wrote: "The first is the creation of" Leaders of Russia ", after a series of edits articles about Ukrainian politicians, and then begins serial praise of the Russian state and belittling the opposition and liberal organizations: in Russia the best weapons in the world, high salaries among teachers, improving the investment climate. Also, the country is very emotional governors, but the opposition is very ugly. "

What was the reaction that the Accused and decided on the audit results

Of the entire group of editors on the checkout page only spoke Zergeist2, Vladislav 1987, Nefedechev, Baydarka and Tonnay-Charente.

Zergeist2 tried to challenge the meaning of the audit, saying that "the activities of so many participants Wikipedia quite irreproachable in terms of rumors and gossip" when it comes to filling out the biographies of contemporaries - that he probably tried to explain many references to invalid or questionable sources. In addition, he described the actions of unscrupulous Gruznov and described them as "located outside of any rules attempt to push a particular political point of view as regards the content of Wikipedia", and wished to appoint him to a ban on the further conduct such audits.

Baydarka said that the only evidence of his links with other accounts allegedly based on the fact that it has registered your account "in the same half of the year." He suggested Gruznov present more arguments, not satisfied with the charges in an attempt to distort the facts in the biography of Vladimir Ashurkova.

Nefedechev and Vladislav 1987 more subdued said they did not understand the claims: "I dislike Zenit, what I write openly on Chempionat.com, but there is some reason it does not bother anyone, and I do not propose a ban slapped!"

More detailed account of the reasons for his interest in the materials about the governors Tonnay-Charente - their activity is explained to a large amount of free time: "After 12 years of the decree, seats with children I finally have some free time, as the youngest child started going to garden for a full day. After them is a sense that the brain is somewhat atrophied, and his need to "stir up" some new occupation. Exactly at that moment I removed a lot of governors, so was wondering what and by whom they were replaced. And I was involved in a subject: reading, watching an interview. Because of information on the activities of many comrades, it was interested in ordinary life (I'm a housewife). "

The result of checking the user summed up the DR: of his message should be that the test was carried out mainly on the establishment of virtuals, violation of a neutral point of view, and edit warring. Upon investigation, he came to the following conclusions:

  • Zergeist2, most likely, a user S.Felix;
  • Nefedechev, Praetorianec, Spectral Analysis, Naturproduct and Archik97 - one and the same person;
  • Sebastian, Flint1972 and Baydarka - different people and do not interfere with the rest of the group;
  • It is not known whether Vladislav 1987, Nefedechev, Vasgrom, Ivan Kycherov, P.miner77, Tonnay-Charente, Pluzhnikov and Oldfishkeeper one person or different, however, when creating accounts Oldfishkeeper, Vasgrom, Ivan Kycherov, P.miner77 Pluzhnikov and one sample was used.

According to the results users Oldfishkeeper, Vasgrom, Ivan Kucherov, P.miner77, Pluzhnikov, Nefedechev, Praetorianec, Spectral Analysis, Naturproduct and Archik97 - blocked. Zergeist2, Sebastian, Flint1972 and Baydarka - no.

Gruznov in conversation with TJ said he was satisfied with the outcome of the test.

"I first noticed strange activity in ruViki in late February, when they began to add massively positive articles about the governor. It looked very clumsy. Next episode - is an active war edits in the article about Lubov Sable. There's the good half of the botnet has been detected. I started to collate the contributions of participants, see the intersection of the articles. In the course of spring all became quite clear - uchotki steel supplied to the synchronous statuses and continued its work on the introduction of a negative FBC for some possible only articles. This obsession and synchronized actions could not have been accidental. More some time ranked applying for chekyuzing. And here's the result.

I am generally pleased with the results of the test. She confirmed that the botnet was really created that involved denigration of politicians. Moreover, it was found that the network involved people blocked before. Half botnet chekyuzery blocked on formal grounds, the rest can be "finish" filed a lawsuit to the Arbitration Committee. This dvuhhodovochka.

The result of this test, the botnet de facto stopped, had not even locked the participants will not be able to edit articles on politics, because for them to attend. Another thing is that changes in the articles still need to clean by hand, long and dreary, as for all the time they are layered changes other editors - you can not pick up and roll back the articles 9 months ago (so many acts that network)."

Michael Gruznov
founder of "Vikifay"

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