Eric Lieberman, DCNF
Wikipedia includes America’s immigrant “detention centers” located at the U.S.-Mexican border on its list of concentration and interment camps after changes made over the last few days.
Joining the gulags established by the Soviet Union, the U.S. imprisonment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and several other very sore points of global history, the incarceration of immigrants trying to gain entry to the U.S. from the border shared with Mexico is now part of the infamous list of captivity and violence.
But it wasn’t done without some fairly heated debate. The history of the edits, which are publicly accessible, show that several users were debating its inclusion.
“This article should be locked/protected from further edits to prevent vandalism,” one unsigned contributor wrote.
“While one may disagree with the practice of the current administration (and it’s easy to do), what is happening with the children is not imprisonment. There is a legal standing for it. People crossing the border ports of entry are doing so against US law, and their imprisonment is legal, though morally and ethically bankrupt,” reads another section of the “talk page,” a forum where discussions for improvements to content are made. “The administration is saying several things at once, all while using these people as political pawns. But this not a concentration camp and should not be in this list. The existing article on Trump administration family separation policy sufficient (sic) covers this situation without further politicizing it by associating them with Nazism.”
Another user, in a rebutting comment, says they are not trying to compare it to the extermination camps or the Holocaust, but rather include the “detention centers” because “these are very clearly internment camps. For children. In America. In 2018. For shame.”
A separate contributor comes to the defense of the original one who opposes its addition to the historical catalog.
“To compare them downplays the horrors of the others,” the anonymous person wrote. “If the anome [the user vying for its inclusion] would take some time to do some googling they would find they are infact (sic) in a place where they are given healthcare, education, freedom to practice their religion and more. The fact so many wikis have been locked with false information is horrifing to say the least.”
All of this back-and-forth appeared to have occurred Tuesday or overnight Monday. The changes and additions started June 17 and continued into Tuesday.
The section shown above was deleted with the reasoning “listing the immigration management system as a concentration camp is wiki graffiti,” a presumably colloquial term referring to an alleged adulteration of the description. Other edits reference language like “trafficker” as being inappropriate since that term is not included in the cited source.
After the editorial dust settled, a shorter version of the events remain.
The sources cited (186, 187, and 188, again, for now) include two reports from Newsweek and one from the Houston Chronicle.
Other feedback on recent changes to the list includes the “Gaza strip” section, as one operator of the page says the paragraph “is far from meeting Wikipedia’s neutral point of view standards, and is actually an embarrassment.”
The section now (as of Tuesday morning, eastern U.S. time), much to the chagrin of the priorly cited user, reads:
Considered by some as”the world’s largest concentration camp,” Gaza is blockaded by the state of Israel to the north, east, and west, and by the state of Egypt to the south. Israel has established a policy of killing Palestinians on sight should they attempt to escape by land or by sea.
There are multiple typos in almost all of the aforementioned examples of Wikipedia entries and the debate over interpretation of recent events, potentially adding to the notion that this was a battle to quickly change the content, or undo the changes made by others.
But it’s important to note that modifications to the embedded content, like the correction of typos as well as added comments arguing for and against the inclusion of events to the list, change constantly because Wikipedia is for the most part open-source, meaning its not hard for an average user to change the information so widely read and consumed. (RELATED: Google Blames Wikipedia For Listing Nazism As One Of California Republican Party’s Ideologies)
Wikipedia did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time of publication.
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