Zhemao | 2000 Fake Articles and 4 Socks Later

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Zhemao | 2000 Fake Articles and 4 Socks Later

Post by wexter » Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:37 pm

A Chinese Housewife with a high-school education goes bat-s-hit crazy and creates thousands of fake articles over 10 years.
Zhemao published an apology letter on her English Wikipedia account, writing that her motivation was to learn about history

‘Zhemao’, assures that she, in fact, is a full-time housewife and that he only has a degree in secondary education. She has also taken the opportunity to write a few lines by way of apology.

“I was reluctant to delete the hundreds of thousands of words I wrote, but as a result, I ended up losing millions of words, and a circle of academic friends collapsed. The problems I have caused are difficult to compensate for, so perhaps the only option is a permanent ban. My current knowledge is not enough to make a living. So in the future I’ll learn a trade, work honestly, and never do nebulous things like this again,” she says.


https://crast.net/49603/all-our-knowled ... e-results/

The dependency on Google. The interdependencies between Wikipedia and Google are a reality. For many query categories, Wikipedia links appear more than any other website on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). This suggests that Wikipedia, a volunteer-created resource, plays an essential role in helping Google achieve its core function.

The study. In an investigation carried out by Northwestern University (USA) they discovered that the results extend to a great extent to other search engines. For desktop SERPs, Wikipedia appeared in 81-84% of search results for common queries, 67-72% for trending queries, and 16-54% for medical queries.
Last edited by wexter on Sat Jul 02, 2022 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zhemao | 2000 Fake Articles and 4 Socks Later

Post by ericbarbour » Fri Jul 01, 2022 9:09 pm

wexter wrote:
Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:37 pm
A Chinese Housewife with a high-school education goes bat-s-hit crazy and creates thousands of fake articles over 10 years.
Zhemao published an apology letter on her English Wikipedia account, writing that her motivation was to learn about history

http://tinyurl.com/bddb335k
that link is already dead

The story already got considerable media play:
https://news.yahoo.com/woman-caught-wri ... 40100.html
https://futurism.com/fake-articles-wikipedia

Things like this probably happen on zh-WP all the time. Because of the very high language barrier, plus because the PRC government is heavily involved in controlling zh-WP content, we rarely hear anything about problems. I did find some choice bits for the book wiki:
According to the EPIC-Oxford study of Wikipedia accuracy, published August 2012[32], they chose not to study the Chinese Wikipedia, because: "The Chinese Wikipedia was found to be heavily censored and was therefore excluded as it would possibly confound the research results." This information was derived from a "China Task Force" report compiled in 2009-2010, which is now prominently tagged on all pages "This wiki has been closed per community discussion." Heavily involved in this project: Philippe Beaudette, despite his not knowing how to read or speak Chinese. It prominently mentions that online encyclopedias run by Hudong and Baidu were far more popular than zh-WP. The talkpage mentions other encyclopedia projects that are more popular than zh-WP. The "China Task Force" project was subsequently closed down and forgotten.

In 2016 a stink ensued on zh-WP over administrator "AddisWang", who was accused of "corruption". Apparently by sockpuppet accounts which were claimed to have connections to the Chinese government. A little-noticed Meta RFC mentioned it. It received no media coverage. [33]

A little-noticed 2018 row involved the removal of all checkusers from zh-WP by the ever-glorious James Alexander, who mush-mouthed his way around the scandal. Apparently they were working for the Chinese Communist Party and using Wikipedia to look for "dissidents". As with the AddisWang controversy, this received almost no media attention. [34][35][36]

In 2021 the WMF "finally" decided to take some kind of action against zh-WP editors taking orders from the CCP, which included banning seven major content writers and desysopping 12 administrators. This resulted in some (minor) news coverage. [37][38][39][40][41] In classic WMF fashion, Maggie Dennis tried to publicize her own "good work", while trying to tiptoe around the fact that the Chinese government had been successfully controlling one of the WMF's own projects.
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Re: Zhemao | 2000 Fake Articles and 4 Socks Later

Post by wexter » Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:20 am

The story already got considerable media play:
besides the fact that the article is mostly a puff piece designed to get clicks

It does describe a major Wikipedia fallacy; ancillary articles repeat a single source progenitor article and those articles are then quoted as Wikipedia support.

Articles looking for justification sometimes point to stuff which does not exist (books and foreign language sites), or simply misquote the original source.

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