My experiences with editing Falun Gon...

My experiences with editing Falun Gong-related articles on Wikipedia

Posted in the Falun Gong Forum

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#1 Jul 28, 2012
Falun Gong activism on this encyclopedia has a long history - dating back to around 2004. Back then, the articles were a battleground between pro- and anti-Falun Gong editors, both with an axe to grind against the other. After months of back-and-forth destruction, two blatantly anti-Falun Gong editors were banned indefinitely, and all Falun Gong articles were put on probation. After the anti-Falun Gong'ers got banned, the articles were inevitably taken over by a group of four practitioner-editors, who seized the opportunity to turn the articles into a series of Falun Gong promotional pamphlets. These editors are not hard to identify - just look at the discussion archives. Attempts at making these articles more neutral were few and far in between, and the Falun Gong cabal worked together against anyone who tries to change the POV balance of any Falun Gong subject matter - stretching from Falun Gong's teachings to its master Li Hongzhi, to its various media companies. I had my own attempt at neutralizing these articles back in 2007, but that ended in failure because I was alone (and therefore badly outnumbered) and subject to an onslaught of abuse. I was called a Communist propagandist, communist apologist, and once it was clear that I am not too fond of the CCP either, I was simply called a heartless human being, someone who incites ideological struggle etc. Ultimately, I just got tired of the abuse and stopped editing these articles entirely in July 2007. Many other editors report the same experiences.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#2 Jul 28, 2012
For those who have noticed, from the summer of 2007 to July 2009, all Falun Gong-related articles were used as a direct channel of advocacy for the movement. Single-purpose accounts patrolled the pages to remove critical content and make the articles' POV to be as favourable towards Falun Gong as possible. These users are Falun Gong practitioners who have no interest anywhere else on the encyclopedia, and are required to 'defend the Fa' as part of their belief system. This has all taken place away from the spotlight from admins, and through this process the Falun Gong group of editors grew increasingly sophisticated at gaming the system. Finally, some editors stepped up to do something about it in July 2009. Administrators began paying attention, and the Falun Gong editors were banned or restricted one after another. With help from a variety of outside editors, this version of the page materialized, and remained stable until February 2010.
ubsequently, a series of bans were levied against Falun Gong editors, as well as one editor critical of Falun Gong. The Falun Gong SPAs then 'retired' and left Wikipedia altogether, proving that they were not on Wikipedia to improve it, but rather as a venue of activism.

Soon after, in mid-2010, another group of Falun Gong editors surfaced. This 'regeneration' of Falun Gong-focused accounts has begun to use sophisticated gaming-the-system tactics to avoid sanctions, but their modus operandi has not changed. For instance, they took their PR war against the Communist Party of China to articles related to the governance of the Chinese state - particularly the articles that have immediate implications to Falun Gong, such as Propaganda in the People's Republic of China, or that of Chinese politicians. These pages were now also "tainted" by Falun Gong advocacy. Similar struggles were also happening on the articles for Falun Gong-affiliated organizations (such as Epoch Times, Shen Yun Performing Arts, New Tang Dynasty Television etc.).

I am sick and tired of editing Falun Gong articles, and have by and large stayed away from them since early 2010. I only wish for two things - for a full third-party review of the articles to comb through all sorts of propaganda that have filled the pages over the years, and for all the Falun Gong activists to be banned from the site entirely. Until that is achieved, these articles will remain an embarrassment to Wikipedia.

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