Russian broadcaster caught editing MH17 Wikipedia entry
Twitter bot catches RTR editing Russian-language Wikipedia article on downed airliner
A Twitter bot designed to monitor Wikipedia edits from Russian government IP addresses has caught a state broadcaster editing details surrounding Malaysian flight MH17, which was shot down in Eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
Pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine blame the Ukrainian government for the crash, while the government blames the separatists currently fighting for control of the region. Both sides have sought to catalogue their own version of events on the Russian-language Wikipedia article on the crash.
This week, the Twitter bot, @RuGovEdits, caught an edit being made from an IP address at the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (RTR), Ars Technica reported. The bot then tweeted the details of the edit.
Translated, the tweet read: "Wikipedia article List of aircraft accidents in civil aviation has been edited by RTR."
According to Ars Technica's report, the edit was changed to say that MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers.
This was allegedly in response to a previous edit that said the downing was caused by "terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian federation."
The evidence points in the Ukrainian government's favour, with initial reports blaming pro-Russian separatists for the crash. However, Russia has denied supplying the separatists with military equipment.
However, with Wikipedia edit wars becoming ever more common, the battle for how this particular piece of history is written is far from over.