Tweetbot Catches Russian Government Editing Flight MH17 Wikipedia Info

A Tweetbot Caught the Russian Gov't Editing Flight MH17 Wikipedia Info

Remember @CongressEdits, the tweetbot that alerts whenever a Wikipedia article is edited from a government IP address? There's a Russian version now, and it just uncovered some pretty drastic edits to a Wikipedia article that mentions Flight MH17, originating from a Russian government IP address.

As The Telegraph reports, @RuGovEdits tweeted that a computer user from within the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VHTRK) edited the Russian-language version of the Wikipedia entry about the Malaysian Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine yesterday.

The original version of the Wikipedia article listing civil aviation accidents stated that MH17 had been shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation." Emphasis added.

The edits originating from the government-owned computer changed the article to read "the plane [flight MH17] was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers". Again, emphasis added.

@RuGovEdits alerted the public with a tweet that says (translated): "Wikipedia article List of aircraft accidents in civil aviation has been edited by RTR [another name for VGTRK]".

If @RuGovEdits is to be trusted (and considering the Wiki-twitterbot code is widely available on Github, it probably can be), it certainly seems like someone within the Russian government is working to hide the widely-held fact that Russian weapons were used to bring down MH17. But while Wikipedia might be malleable, it's also transparent. [The Telegraph via Amanda Zamora]



    Putin can play all the games, and dance around the issue all he likes... He sent in his troops to annex that part of the country and they armed the Pro-Russian rebels with the weapons including the Buk..! The thing has since done a runner back to Mother Russia, no doubt for deniability... Putin's fingerprints are all over MH17..!

      It's like this generations Lockerbie Bombing, with Putin playing the part of Gadaffi

      Not wanting to defend Putin or anything. Please understand the facts of the Ukraine crisis.

      The country had a pro-Russian government. The Pro-European/West people in the west of the country wanted an autonomous region. With outside help they started a civil war over threw the government.

      Now they are in charge the pro-russian, largely ethnic Russian, Russian speaking population in the west aren't too happy about that and now they want an autonomous region, but those in charge won't let them.

      There seems to be some misconception that Russia has caused this problem.

      As for Russia getting involved, I just see hypocrisy. I am pretty much against other countries getting involved in such conflicts, but our western governments arm and support rebels and various groups all around the world. Further creating death, destruction and mayhem. Conflicts far less justifiable or seemingly in our interest than Russia arming ethnic Russians that live on their border. Especially if you look at the amount of ethnice violence happening towards the Russians. A few weeks ago 41 ethnic Russians were burnt alive with the police watching and doing nothing. So the Russian rebels do have a reason to be fighting in the face of this.

      In recent years. The USA's support of rebels in Libya has destroyed that country. Gadaffi wasn't a good guy, but helping to rebels lead to an unnatural balance of power which then creates chaos. Like in Syria. If the USA and Sudia Arabia were not arming and training rebels. The Civil war would have been ended. The unnatural balance has drawn in out, created way more death and destruction and now that's bled to rebels invading Iraq.

      So for all the talk of Russia and it's bad things, it's doing nothing worse than our western governments and allies do. People just care more that this plane had some of us on it. Not just brown people.

      Our government in Australia just took one of the most a pro-Israeli stances in the world, contradicting international law and reality. They're killing children at the moment with weapons the USA gives to them. No one cares.

      So I don't see what Putin and Russia are doing in Ukraine as that different.

      With Crimea, it's Russia. It was illegally seperated to Ukraine by a Ukrainian leader of the Soviet Union. It is full of Russians who don't want to be part of Ukraine. It's of major strategic importance and interest to Russia that it doesn't lose it. There's no way they were ever going to lose it. It's not as simple as Russia annexing land.

        I understand what you are saying, but when it's all said and done, Putin had no right to send in troops, whether other countries have done similar things or not... Plus as I've mentioned to "ZombieJesus" in another similar post, I wouldn't mind betting that Putin had agitators in place for years, just slowly winding people up. Putin is not an example of good Governance by any standard imo..! :)

          It's just that some people have some warped view.

          Crimea, there's justification for it. A civil war in Ukraine, immense Russian interests in Crimea. The only reason it's part of Ukraine is that it was illegally made part of it 60 years ago. Those Russian interests are still there and can't be moved. It's full of Russians.

          The main opposition to Russian securing it, is purely because NATO wants to weaken the defense forces of Russia. What will happen though, it'll be an autonomous region of the Ukraine. Controlled by Russia in exchange for aid and resources to the rest of Ukrain.

          In the rest of Ukraine, the pro-russian rebels are just Ukrainians. Something which seems to be lost on a lot of people. It's a Ukrainian civil war. The constant talk of, 'Pro-russian rebels' seems to be an attempt to create the illusion these aren't Ukrainians. Which in the light of the ethnic violence towards Ukrainians of Russian decent is actually quite alarming.

          Russia was asked to send in troops by the Crimean government. Whether you think there were agitators in the region or not (and I agree there likely were), it doesn't change the fact the people of the region are predominantly pro-Russian and ethnically Russian and have the right to decide their own fate. Crimea has wanted to secede since the fall of the Soviet Union, that's hardly within Putin's scope of power.

          I said in the previous post you mentioned that it was reported in Ukraine back in April that rebels captured several Buk SA systems from the Ukrainian military, but you're still saying Russia armed the rebels with the system that shot down the plane. There's evidence prior to this incident that the rebels captured Ukrainian weapon systems, what evidence is there that this one was supplied by Russia?

          Why do you find it unacceptable for Russia to materially support rebels seeking to restore the democratically elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine, but acceptable for the west to materially support the anti-Russian rebels that overthrew the democratically elected pro-Russian government in the first place?

          Ukraine and Crimea in particular have complex political histories that I think you're doing an injustice to by glossing over them with standard American anti-Russian sentiment and assumptions. This is not a black and white situation, no matter how some people want to paint it as such.

            Putin is one of the biggest problems in that part of the world right now..!
            I may be biased towards the West, but I don't think you can say Putin is innocent in this... Afic, he is likely to be the main instigator here, and he started the ball rolling years ago. They may be more Russian than Crimean, but they could have sorted out the issue without bloodshed if Putin had not had an agenda there..! Sorry dude, but I just don't like Putin, and I personally think his fingerprints are all over that jet..!

              They could have sorted out the issue before the west backed a violent coup to overthrow the Ukraine government. Russia didn't start this round of the conflict.

        So by your logic, because Western countries are doing the wrong thing, it's ok for Russia to do the same? Yeah sorry but that argument doesn't hold any water

          No my statement is that it is all wrong. Lets just not be hypocritical about the practice because some Aussies died this time and treat it differently.

    yo, like, what's a "widely-held fact"?

      I guess it means widely-held fact except in Russian-speaking parts of the world

      It's a line out of Futurama and a euphemism for 'bullshit'.

      Fry: [on giant alligators in the sewers] Yep. My friend's cousin's caseworker saw one once. It's a widely believed fact.

    Whilstever the Americans and Russians continue to arm insurgents and rebel groups, these things are going to keep on happening.

    Do you think we the people need to read Wikipedia to be informed that it was pro Russian troops with Russian rockets shit the plane down ?

    It's on every TV station
    In every newspaper
    Don't think any of their edits will change anything

      shit the plane down..I lol'ed (yes I am a bit of a child..). I can see it now.."Yuri, I dont feel so good..I think the in flight borscht was bad.."

      I know..Borscht and Malaysian Airlines dont really mix..

        I wonder its even possible to shit a plane down :)
        Sounds like an idea for the next episode of myth busters

          Unfortunately the answer is yes, and it has happened! It was a flight in the USA many years ago, when the toilet contents were dumped overboard in flight (they are not now). A large brown lump froze on the exit but as it got bigger and heavier it broke off in the slipstream, hit the horizontal stabiliser on one side and broke it off. The aircraft became uncontrollable and broke up in flight and everyone on board died. The nasty culprit was found after the event.

      It goes to show how little the Russian government thinks of its people's intelligence.

      Not in Russia. There's no such thing as free-press in Russia. It's all state owned. When the only information you get is from the Putin PR dept., it is important to keep things like wikipedia free from the government edits.
      So, from a Russian point of view, it is on every TV station and every newspaper.. The Ukrainians deliberately shot down MH17 and it's all a conspiracy by the West and Ukraine to blame Russia.

    To be fair.... it's a bit early to be putting in "hard facts" into wikipedia.
    I think it's fair to say it was shot down, I believe the intelligence agencies have confirmed they detected the missile.
    But it's probably a bit too speculative to state that Russia supplied them as fact.

      Indeed. Considering there were reports in Ukrainian media in April indicating that four Ukrainian Buk SA systems had been captured by rebels (three from a checkpoint and one from Donetsk airport, the same region the plane was shot down), it seems odd to be rewriting history now to say they came from Russia.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now