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I have noticed your contributions here in Meta: Talk:Knowledge Equity Fund#Recipient criteria and also in enwiki's Pump: "Political UPE/influence ops on English Wikipedia can also be found for pro-US, pro-Qatar, pro-UAE sockfarms, just to name a few. Unfortunately, I think we have a quite limited understanding of this type of activity."
For some years I have been following similar initiatives in WM projects and wrote an essay or two about them. Just yesterday I enquired a couple of zh colleagues about the impact of this WMCUG affair on other WM projects, and we continued our exchange on my Talk: User talk:Zezen#RE：About how I can help now.
Would you be interested in joining us there, especially with your knowledge about these non-zh sockfarm campaigns (and maybe other more advanced, automated tools, including DARVO and FUD), as used by such state actors?
- Zezen: Thanks for contacting me. I'll follow the discussion and see if I can contribute. Note that the operations I mentioned are not necessarily carried directly by state actors, but they are certainly organized covertly by external organizations. Also, none of the operations I implicitly mentioned engage in institutional/community capture, just on content manipulation. Also, since I don't speak Chinese, I cannot fully assess the zhwiki case, but WMCUG doesn't come across to me as a state-level operation, but rather as an organized effort by some hyper-partisan individuals. MarioGom (talk) 13:17, 18 September 2021 (UTC)
- Dear Mario,
- Thank you for the answer. Even if you do not speak Chinese, Portuguese, Polish or Serbian, the Photoshopped staged photos speak for themselves, click or here in Commons to see where they are still used in en-, ar-, pnb-, id-wikis. Or take a look at the nature of the edits and revdels there in that enwiki article, e.g. this 2016 one from SPA accounts.
- In my meta-essay I provided more URLs and translations to English of similar campaigns and their goals, mentioning some overt (i.e. leaving traces in WM servers) tools and methods used in ru-, sr-, ka-, cr- and pl-wikis, where such captures, at many levels, either happened or were stopped at a great cost to their communities. (And this WMCUG is still a relatively "peaceful" example, in comparison with cases where LTAs, human or otherwise, were unleashed within such campaigns, to unseat the "recalcitrant" CUs, Arbs, etc. who did not believe in THETRUTH.)
- Anyhow, this SEP zh affair it reminds me also of the AUG "ARBPIA" research project: Research:Wikipedia Wars and the Israel-Palestine Conflict that I helped with some months ago.
- I will be waiting for your input there then, if the zh colleague(s) replies. Zezen (talk) 14:04, 18 September 2021 (UTC)