Report: Iran manipulates Wikipedia articles to remove human rights crimes… How? 

After attempting to tarnish the reputation of opposition groups and individuals outside the country and citing government publications as news sources, the British newspaper “The Times” revealed in a report an alarming increase in efforts by Iranian regime agents in cyberspace to remove facts related to human rights crimes committed by the regime from Wikipedia.

The involvement of Iranian regime agents and supporters in the general distortion of history has raised concerns about the political and historical content reliability of this electronic encyclopedia. The report from “The Times” shows that in one instance, crucial details related to the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in Iran, including the participation of senior current officials in the regime in the 1988 death committee, were removed from Wikipedia.

This includes the involvement of key members of the Iranian regime, such as Ibrahim Raisi and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, in this committee, known as the “Death Committee.” Other examples include attempts to remove content about the trial of Hamid Nouri, the former chief prosecutor’s assistant of the Iranian judiciary, in Sweden, for his crimes during the 1988 executions, as well as the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Albania in 2018 due to an attempted bombing plot.

In one clear example, Iranian regime agents attempted to prevent the creation of a Wikipedia page for a human rights activist, Vahid Beheshti, living in the United Kingdom.

Bozorgi protested the omission of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard from the UK’s list of terrorist groups by going on a hunger strike.

Political activist Mati Hoon, the wife of Vahid Bozorgi, described the repeated deletion of this human rights activist’s page as an attempt by the “Iranian electronic army.”

Some Wikipedia editors have expressed concern about the consequences of such manipulations for government propaganda purposes.

Wikipedia, as the entity responsible for the encyclopedia, responded to these cases, stating that the site’s content is managed by a global community of volunteer editors committed to content neutrality.

The spokesperson for the foundation announced the existence of preventive measures to deal with false information, including the suspension of activities of accounts violating the rules.

Evidence indicates that these measures have not been fully successful in stopping the wave of content manipulation and distortion.

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