Pillar 2: How We Are Fighting Misinformation and Disinformation

Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view

Pillar 2 emphasizes that Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view. “All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, authoritative sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is about a living person.” Misinformation and disinformation are antithetical to Wikipedia’s core mission. 

How We Are Fighting Misinformation and Disinformation

At a time in society when even a single misstated fact can go viral and sway opinions around the world, it’s never been more important to keep misinformation and disinformation off Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Pillar 2 underscores that Wikipedia must be accurate and impartial.

This year, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Research team has been working on a new spambot detection system that can improve efficiency in detecting content that does not meet the high standards of accuracy and neutrality required on Wikimedia projects. The team’s dataset is helping our Machine Learning team build language-agnostic and multilingual models that can help editors spot incorrect article revisions — and prevent those revisions from appearing on Wikipedia.

The Foundation’s Product team, which improves how editors can contribute content on the Wikimedia projects, also made an impact with new tools for volunteer editors working on mobile devices. These features give editors working on mobile the same tools available to those on desktop devices. They now have better ability to monitor new edits, use advanced tools to protect the accuracy of the content, and the ability to block users who try to undermine the sites. On some Wikimedia projects as many as 40-60 percent of active editors primarily contribute from a mobile device, so these advances are a welcome development.  

An emphatic example of our work around misinformation and disinformation 

In 2022, the Wikimedia Foundation refused repeated requests by the Russian government to take down Wikipedia articles about the invasion of Ukraine.  The Wikimedia movement did not back down in the face of government threats to deny people their fundamental human right to access free, trusted, and verifiable information. Ukrainian and Russian volunteer contributors have continued to add content and make edits to Wikipedia despite the deep hardship of the Russian government’s invasion. The Foundation will continue to resist efforts to censor and intimidate members of our movement and continue to offer a space where people can access accurate, impartial information about the world around them.


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