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Wikipedia Vandal manipulated Swastika To Thousands Of Pages

The Wikipedia pages of various prominent personalities were apparently recently provided with swastikas by a “vandal”. Initially, some users of the online encyclopedia became aware of the case. The administrators have now taken action.

As reported by Engadget, among others, numerous reports from Wikipedia users appeared yesterday, according to which numerous entries in the English-language version of the online encyclopedia were provided with a huge swastika including the associated color in the style of the usual Nazi propaganda.

Manipulated template for over 53,000 Wikipedia entries

Specifically, the problem concerned the entries for various well-known personalities, including the pages on US President Joe Biden, US Vice President Kamala Harris, the singers Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair and even the former head of state of the Soviet Union Josef Stalin.

Overall, the swastika was displayed on over 53,000 Wikipedia entries, so that many users might have come across it when they accessed it. This was made possible because the attacker was editing a template that is used on a large number of Wikipedia entry pages. In this way, it was not the actual content of the pages that were edited, but the template for the output in the browser and the page design.

Normally, most of the Wikipedia page templates, like many of the entries recently affected by the “swastika hack“, are protected from access and modification by normal users. However, as in this case, some templates can be edited without special protection. In response to the latest action, the Wikipedia admins have begun to block more templates from being accessed by unauthorized editors.

According to the administrators, who mostly work voluntarily, the vandalism activity was noticed and eliminated within a few minutes. The user responsible for this is permanently blocked. Initially, by the way, the person had made unsuspicious edits and contributed to the maintenance of the free offer of the online encyclopedia.

Mark Goodman

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