LONDON: Lebanon’s anti-government protesters have taken their battle from the streets of Beirut to the pages of one of the world’s most viewed websites.
Activists on Monday managed to change a section heading of the Wikipedia page “Parliament of Lebanon” to “Lebanese Robbery.”
Within a couple of minutes, Wikipedia’s editing team had reverted the page back to its original title stating that they were “reverting vandalism.”
However, a cat and mouse game began thereafter and the web user operating from the same Internet Protocol (IP) address, kept changing the title to “Lebanese Robbery” as the Wikipedia team kept reverting it back to its original name.
After about six minutes, the section was locked by a senior Wikipedia editor to “protect ‘Parliament of Lebanon’ from disruptive editing,” according to the page’s revision history.
The section has been locked until Nov. 25.
Lebanon has been plunged into political and economic turmoil by a wave of protests that erupted on Oct. 17.
“Vandalism” of Wikipedia pages is common involving celebrities, sports events and entertainment, but it is rare for a major change on a page related to a highly sensitive political issue to remain unnoticed for more than a minute.
Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia that relies upon a community of volunteer users to create and curate the content.
The demonstrations in Lebanon against corruption, the ruling elite and the sectarian system of governance, led to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
The protests have also led to the biggest financial crisis faced by the country since its civil war.