Biased Editing Of Wikipedia Articles On Arab – Israeli Conflict Raises Concerns Of Political Meddling

by
Fatimah Mazhar
An activist belonging to a right-wing group In Israel, the NGO Monitor, has been accused of editing Arab-Israeli conflict articles on Wikipedia with his biased views.

Biased Wikipedia Editing By Israeli

An activist belonging to a right-wing group In Israel, the NGO Monitor, has been accused of editing Arab-Israeli conflict articles on Wikipedia with his biased views.

Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia is a source of, if not reliable but, mostly primary information for almost any topic in the world. It is probably the most viewed and used websites on the internet. Although the information on Wikipedia can be edited, it is still accessed for reference and help.

The Israel-Palestine conflict is indisputably a highly disputable topic in the world. And the NGO Monitor employee decided to make use of the most widely accessed website to present his views on the most controversial subject ever. It made perfect sense for a right wing Israeli to do so but it wasn’t appropriate and he got caught.

The employee under a second username ‘Soosim’ edited articles in order to promote his company’s agenda. He wrote pro-Israel views and tried to enforce his right-wing perspective.

What Soosim did on Wikipedia is not an isolated incident. The website has often been accused of corporate-paid editing as well. Agenda-based organizations frequently indulge in the practice of editing Wiki articles to serve their interests. Soosim’s case is sensitive in nature because it involves the bone of contention of world politics, that is, the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such edits can be made on various other issues and that falls into the category of political meddling.

Making changes on Wikipedia is acceptable as long as the edit is ‘reasonable’ and made with a single username. There is an option to restore the edit but before that the user has to consult and discuss on the ‘Talk page.’ But that certainly doesn’t stop cases like Soosim from emerging, right? People with hidden agendas can manipulate sensitive political information as long as they are not caught by avid users.

What the right-wing Israeli employee did was indeed questionable but what’s more questionable than his bias is the editing policy of Wikipedia. Sure it provides a platform for discussion but then, does it qualify as an encyclopedia?

I don’t think so. Do you agree with its editing option?  You can share your views in the comments section below.

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