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melania-trump-branded-ae˜former-sex-worker-and-porn-starae-on-wikipedia-linked-sites

Online saboteurs have apparently messed up the entries of Melania Trump and several other famous people, who are mostly actors. The ‘porn star’ description appeared on Melania’s page on Simple English Wikipedia, a site that is typically aimed at children.

People visiting several websites from the Wikimedia family, including Wikipedia, were able to learn some lewd ‘facts’ about US First Lady Melania Trump.

As reported by Wikipedia criticism project Wikipediocracy, vandals have targeted Melania’s entry on Wikidata to make it describe her as a “former sex worker and porn star”.

The description stayed on for nine days after 15 June 2019 and consequently appeared on Wikimedia Commons (a repository of free-use images and other media) and Simple-English Wikipedia, whose target audience are children and non-native English speakers.

What’s Wikidata?

Wikidata serves as a source of structured, collectively edited data for various other Wikimedia projects. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikidata has items rather than articles. Those items – which include topics, concepts, and objects – are integrated with other sister projects, including Wikipedia.

With several times more entries than Wikipedia, Wikidata has a much smaller community and apparently lacks vandal-fighters.

What other people were targeted?

According to the revision history for several other Wikidata pages, vandals have pulled a similar stunt on several other celebrities.

For instance, Games of Throne and Aquaman star Jason Momoa was tagged as a “homosexualiser of men” in the Spanish version of his page for five weeks during the summer.

Actress Ana Villafañe was labelled a “pornographic actress” for nine weeks, starting on 8 June.

Bollywood star Sara Ali Khan was labelled an “Indian pornographic actress” for four weeks due to a change in her description made on 5 June.

In other notable examples, the Melbourne Cricket Ground sports stadium was branded a “gaydium” for three weeks, while the name of the page of France’s National Rally leader Marine Le Pen was changed to “Booba” on 23 June for one day.

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