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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Wikipedia Pages Vandalized Briefly with Swastikas

A variety of Wikipedia articles were replaced with images of swastikas Monday morning. Pages defaced include those for celebrities Johnny Depp, according to Input, and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, according to Insider.

Several pages for politicians were vandalized, such as those for Vice President Kamala Harris and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A representative from Wikimedia described to Mashable that a Wiki template used to support page functionality was vandalized on English Wikipedia, resulted in the Nazi flag appearing on a wide range of articles.

The rep said the anti-Semitic symbol was only on these pages for five minutes, and the template was protected from future behavior by volunteers. Wikimedia usually avoids this in the spirit of open editing, but Wikimedia stated they do so in incidents that warrant page locking.

“This type of activity is not acceptable on Wikipedia and violates a number of its policies,” said the rep. “Volunteer administrators have already fixed the vandalism, blocked the account responsible, and will further evaluate the situation to see if additional recourse is needed.”

While horrific, Wikimedia said that volunteers have experience with this type of vandalism. Because of this, the site has tools to spot and revert these changes quickly.

We’re thankful, at least, that Wikipedia’s volunteers took care of the problem so quickly that many people believe Ann Coulter is lying about it.

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