Top Wikipedia editor arrested in Belarus over Russian misinformation
The editor Mark Bernstein has been arrested for "disseminating bogus anti-Russian information."
The Belarusian daily Zerkalo stated that the Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of Belarus (GUBOPiK) has jailed Wikipedia editor Mark Bernstein. Bernstein's personal information was released on GOBUPiK's public Telegram channel, leading to his arrest. He is one of Russian Wikipedia's top 50 editors.
BREAKING: One of the top editors of the Russian language #Wikipedia, Mark Bernstein, has been detained in Belarus for his editing on the #Ukraine invasion, reports @reform_by, citing a video from the Belarusian state security agency GUBOPiK.— Samuel Breslow (@sdkb42) March 11, 2022
In Russian: https://t.co/KH64B11Wq2
His photo and personal information were also posted, along with a video of his arrest. Bernstein is accused of "disseminating bogus anti-Russian information" in the photo. Since then, the channel has been turned private.
He was also suspected of changing Wikipedia entries about Russia's special operation in Ukraine, according to Zerkalo. Bernstein's supposed Wikimedia identity has made over 200,000 updates to Russian Wikipedia entries, according to his activity record. His account is currently marked as "indefinitely blocked".
Users in Belarus and Russia were also instructed to mask personal data and only modify articles about the operation from other accounts in the Russian Wikipedia channel on Telegram.
Read more: Anti-Russian propaganda bombards internet users
Throughout Russia's special operation in Ukraine, both NATO and the United States have mounted a massive propaganda campaign to make Russia the enemy in the eyes of the West, American activist Phil Wilayto told Sputnik.
"I think the US and NATO have carefully carried out a massive propaganda campaign against Russia that has led most people in the West to unthinkingly accept the narrative that Russia is an enemy country run by a brutal dictator with expansionist ambitions," Wilayto, a co-founder of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality and coordinator of the Odessa Solidarity Campaign, said.
Wilayto holds the US and NATO responsible for the situation in Ukraine.