An online battle has erupted over the Wikipedia page for Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., with a significant uptick in edits that reflects a pattern that’s been seen ahead of past vice-presidential announcements and led Wikipedia to put the page under “discretionary sanctions.”
The trend was first reported last week by The Intercept. According to the revision history of the Harris article on Wikipedia, there have been 500 revisions to the page since May 9, most of which have been made by one highly prolific editor.
That editor first started significantly changing the article in April, making additions that led another editor to say on the Kamala Harris “talk” page, “[y]ou seem to have gone through a database of press releases from Harris’s office, cataloging every single one and adding it to the article. That is not how we write encyclopedic articles.”
That user also removed information that was critical of Harris, with some other editors on the “talk” page objecting to changes regarding Harris’ relationship with former California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown that were allegedly made “without adequate justification.” Users also objected to changes related to Harris’ record as an aggressive prosecutor, with one editor making a change on July 2 — after The Intercept published its story — saying they were “restoring more scrubbed well-sourced content. Just because it may be ‘unflattering’ doesn’t mean it needs to be censored.”
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