Tibet & Wikipedia

You might have noticed that this blog demonstrated already how Wikipedia articles are manipulated. But the post touched only the specific case of Dorje Shugden.

There is by far more to say about this. Also Chinese editors manipulate Wikipedia, especially with respect to Tibet related articles and they try to bring them in line with Chinese propaganda. The Tibetologist, Prof. Dr. Dieter Schuh, from the International Institute for Tibetan and Buddhist Studies GmbH, tried to improve articles about Tibet in the German Wikipedia but he gave finally up, not without stating on his website that Wikipedia should have a warning on the first page:

Much of the information in Wikipedia are wrong and need improvements. Your use so at your own risk!

Based on my own experiences of manipulations in Wikipedia I wrote recently an article about “Wikipedia & Tibet” for a German Buddhist magazine, Tibet und Buddhismus, which became one of their featured articles. (The online version is here.) So far I have not seen anything written in English about this topic, that’s why I am happy to share with you the following information and call which was spread via an email list. The writer is an Injie teacher of web development in McLeod Ganj and he gave permission to post it here.

line-gothicDear Tibetans and Tibet supporters:

This morning i went looking on Wikipedia for an article to summarize the Tibet uprising, to add to “related info” section for a Tibet Sun story. I was unable to find an objective, factual article there. PRC minions have been busy — and more careful, less blatant.

I used to do editing on Wikipedia, and try to counter this stuff, but i am not expert enough on Tibetan affairs to qualify for doing this kind of editing. Also, thanks to the Great Leap Forward of Tibetans here in tech level and needs, i have had to confine myself to my core mandate: teach tech.

How often is Wikipedia your first stop when you want to find out about something? Well then, it is often other people’s first stop when they want to know about Tibet. And what they are often getting is the viewpoint of the PRC.

How important is this? It seems to be important enough to the PRC side, for them to put a lot of effort into it, and probably money also. If you think it is important too, and you want help learning how to edit Wikipedia, i will repeat my yearly offer: I am exotically happy to teach anyone how to edit Wikipedia; to act as technical advisor during edits — whatever is needed on the technical, “how to” end.

Here is one collection of resources for those “how-tos”: http://www.tibetangeeks.com/using_tech/wikipedia/

I have made this offer in the past, received enthusiastic responses … and each time the whole thing faded away. I don’t mind, there are many other ways to learn Wikipedia. But since the Tibet articles continue to deteriorate, i think noone (except the PRC) is doing it at all. I feel like the chicken in that story: “Who wants some fresh-baked bread?” Well, everyone does until they find out they have to plant wheat, feed cow, mix, knead, and bake.

Yes, editing Wikipedia is hard. It takes a lot of time and attention. (Ooo, do you hear that faint humming in the background? It is my tiny little violin playing a sad song for you! ) Can we who are blessed with a little more health, time, and resources, match the efforts of those inside Tibet?

thank you

  Last edited by tenpel on March 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm