A ‘fake news’ list and an edit war on Mocha Uson’s Wikipedia page

April 12, 2018 - 4:18 PM
In this Oct. 4, 2017 photo, PCOO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson appears at a Senate hearing on the proliferation of fake news. (STAR/Mong Pintolo)

Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson’s Wikipedia page has been edited to include a list of incidents of supposed false information attributed to her that circulated on social media.

Most of the sources on the Wikipedia entry cited included media articles that fact-checked and challenged some of the news items released by Uson through her blog and social media accounts.

Exhibit A: A list of Asec. Uson’s supposed “fake news” contributions

After back-and-forth editing, Uson’s page appears to have been semi-protected for suspected vandalism.

A look into the page’s editing history shows attempts to undo the revisions made to Uson’s profile.

Comments in the revision history show that some of users logged on for the purpose of defending Uson by removing what they thought were unfair imputations on the PCOO official.

Twitter users who posted and commented on screenshots of the revised Wikipedia entry for Uson also noticed the Wikipedia page of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Information on Marcos was similarly revised to include his fraudulent account of his involvement in the war effort against the Japanese during the second world war.

Uson’s Facebook page titled “MOCHA USON BLOG” has more than 5 million followers. She is known as an online defender of President Rodrigo Duterte and a central figure in a collective she calls the DDS or the “Duterte Die Hard Supporters.”

Filipino blogger and commentator RJ Nieto was also not spared. His Wikipedia page was edited to contain a list of “fake news” attributed to him.

As of this writing, neither Uson or Nieto has commented on the additions made to the biographies.

Battlefield Wikipedia

Vandalism and “edit wars” are just some of the phenomena that have stirred much of the criticism thrown at Wikipedia.

“Edit wars” take place when users scramble to edit information on a Wikipedia to reflect what they see as truth or to publish propaganda, revising input from users from an opposing school of thought. Edit wars have been waged even for the most absurd of debates.

On the other hand, vandalism has a more precise description that Wikipedia recognizes:

“Editing (or other behavior) deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project’s purpose, which is to create a free encyclopedia, in a variety of languages, presenting the sum of all human knowledge.”

Wikipedia lists down on its article on vandalism how it has addressed the problem, as well as advise on what to do upon encountering information that may be the result of vandals.

With no word from either Uson or Nieto, whoever was behind the changes in the world’s largest and most accessible source of knowledge is a mystery.