Monday, July 28, 2014

Someone at a Russian state TV network edited Wikipedia to blame the MH17 crash on Ukraine

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Early Friday morning, someone at VGTRK — Russia's state-run TV and radio network — made a conspicuous edit to the Russian language Wikipedia article about airplane crashes.

Previously, someone with an IP address in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, edited the article to say that MH17 was taken down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation."

Within an hour, someone with an IP address that puts them at VGTRK's Moscow offices changed it to say "The plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers."

This exchange was spotted by a new Twitter bot called @RuGovEdits, which was inspired by @congress-edits, a bot that tweets whenever an anonymous Wikipedia edit is made from a Congress IP address.

Translation: "Wikipedia article List of aircraft accidents in civil aviation has been edited by VGTRK."

This edit fits in with Russian president Vladmir Putin's previous comments about the crash, which he's blaming on Ukraine, and VGTRK is well-known as a mouthpiece of the Russian government.

h/t GlobalVoices

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