クロアチア語版ウィキペディア（略号Hr.WP）は掲載内容および行動関連の課題に取り組んできましたが、10年以上前からグローバルなボランティアのコミュニティで繰り返し懸念を誘ってきました。ウィキメディア財団理事会の支持のもと、財団は当該プロジェクトの課題の判定をする外部の専門家と契約しました。判定は2021年2月から同年5月にわたって実施され、クロアチア語版ウィキメディアに偽情報を持ち込もうとする組織的な企ての有無ならびに当該のプロジェクトは本来ならウィキペディアの伝統的な編集活動の仕組みを導くべき「5本の柱」の方針（Wikipedia’s five pillars）を構造上は遵守せず特定のイデオロギーに突き動かされた利用者に乗っ取られたか否か、評価を試みました。
クロアチア語版ウィキペディアとは、セルビア・クロアチア語系のうちの標準クロアチア語を代表します。ウィキペディアには他にも複数中心地言語の言語版プロジェクトがあり、たとえば英語版、フランス語版、ドイツ語版、スペイン語版などとは異なり、セルビア・クロアチア語系ウィキペディアのコミュニティは細分化され - クロアチア語版、ボスニア語版、セルビア語版があり、元のセルビア・クロアチア語系のウィキ群は2003年に発足しました。報告書の結論としてこの構造によりローカルの言語コミュニティはそれぞれのプロジェクト単位で分派でき、しばしば当該地域の政治集団と同調しがちでした。さらに加えて、報告書の評価によると、通常であれば他の複数中心地言語が編集の合意形成の過程として備え伝統的にうまく進む編集の多様性を新規に形成されたコミュニティは剥奪されたと断言しました。
The evaluation concluded that Hr.WP had been dominated by ideologically driven users who are misaligned with Wikipedia’s five pillars, confirming concerns about the project’s integrity from the global community. This review of Hr.WP articles and community-related documentation reveals that a group of administrators and editors have held de-facto control over the project for more than a decade. During that time, evidence that the expert evaluated suggests that they have intentionally distorted the content presented in articles, abused power, and systematically obstructed otherwise accepted global Wikipedia community practices.
While this investigation was proceeding, the volunteers of the Croatian-speaking community independently started to reorganize and pursue actions. As a result, a series of administrative actions against some of the concerning administrators resulted in one revocation of their administrator privileges. The report argues that this change is clearing the way for a potential restoration of the community. Further, it states that the current admins and active editors are making tangible improvements to some of the most sensitive and most disputed articles on the project.
Based on extensive investigation, and on insights into how the movement has approached setting up other pluricentric Wikipedia language projects, the report provides three recommendations:
- Encouraging the Croatian-speaking community to continue re-establishing a robust local governance system, requesting oversight and support from the rest of the Wikimedia movement as needed.
- Encouraging the affected communities to discuss unifying community elections for admin and functionary roles across the involved wikis (Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, and Serbo-Croatian).
- Encouraging the affected communities to discuss the possibility of re-merging Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian language projects into the original Serbo-Croatian language projects to re-align with the practices of other pluricentric languages with unified Wikipedia projects; including but not limited to Chinese, English, German, Spanish, Tamil, Korean, and French language Wikipedias.
The report provides pros and cons regarding each recommendation and the lessons learned to support a stronger and more resilient community.
A group of Croatian language Wikipedia (Hr.WP) admins held undue de-facto control over the project at least from 2011 to 2020. During that time, the group intentionally distorted the content presented in Croatian language Wikipedia articles in a way that matched the narratives of political organisations and groups that can broadly be defined as the Croatian radical right. The group systematically produced and edited articles containing unencyclopaedic content and overt historical revisionism. The content became so pervasive and remained online for so long that it created a web of deception to influence the reader's moral or value judgement in a way that corresponded to the group’s ideological views. More recently, after 2020, the local community has made tangible improvements to some of the most sensitive and most disputed articles. However, it is too early to say if this will be enough to put the project firmly back into alignment with the five pillars.
Wikipedia’s factual accuracy and resilience against disinformation and bias depend on the existence of a functional and diverse editing volunteer community. A larger and more diverse pluricentric language project community, based on a mutually intelligible language, would probably have prevented the type of project capture witnessed on Croatian language Wikipedia. The separation of projects allowed the splitting of one diverse editorial volunteer community into nation-state idea based projects, which led to the rise of nationalist bias – and ultimately to the project capture documented here for Hr.WP.
The group abused its community positions of power to ban dissenters from Hr.WP. It also selectively enforced and broke rules to manipulate Wikipedia's community institutions and conflict resolution mechanisms - elections, RfCs, and local Arbitration Committees. Their activities were coordinated and resulted in project capture - the near-full control over local community and content on the targeted wiki. Therefore, it can be concluded that Croatian language Wikipedia has been out of alignment with the first and second pillar of Wikipedia. The Foundation over these years adhered to its policy of not intervening in community self-governance, but monitored the ongoing situation.
The global Wikimedia volunteer community and the Croatian public became aware as early as 2007 that the Croatian Wikipedia language project may be subject to community issues and highly ideologically charged content. Concerned community members of the Croatian language Wikipedia made several attempts to correct the issues using the traditional community RfC mechanism. These attempts were deflected by systematic and repeated obstruction of RfC and had resulted in further consolidation of the concerning group. Between 2013 and 2019, the content on Croatian Wikipedia became the subject of media scrutiny. In 2021, a community global ban with subsequent revocation of administrator privileges for the group leaders created an opportunity for new admins to join the project and help uphold and defend the five pillars.
What to do about it:
The report has analysed the local community and content dynamics on Croatian language Wikipedia and identified solutions to address and prevent similar content and behavior issues from happening in the future. A similar approach could be useful for content monitoring on other projects. Finally, it provides three recommendations to the community and offers pros and cons for each option. Encouraging the Croatian-speaking community to continue re-establishing a robust local governance system, requesting oversight and support from the rest of Wikimedia as needed. Encouraging the affected communities to discuss unifying community elections for admin and functionary roles across the involved wikis. Encouraging the affected communities to discuss the possibility of re-merging Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian language projects into the original Serbo-Croatian language projects to re-align with the practices of other pluricentric Wikipedia language versions.
The Croatian project capture has exposed and exploited a vulnerability in Wikipedia’s model of self-governance. The Croatian Wikipedia came out of a project capture by sanctioning one of the prominent users who was abusing the project. This created an opportunity for realignment of other aspects of the community governance including content neutrality. It is a valuable lesson for the entire movement. It raises the topic of empowering the communities, improving communication, and finding solutions against organised disinformation that will work holistically. While the larger presence of volunteers on many projects can both increase quality and chances of preventing these abuses, the case of Hr.WP demonstrates that there could be similar attempts to introduce disinformation into Wikimedia projects, especially our projects with smaller communities. A more resourced and better-organized attempt to do so could be harder to detect and protect against. The lessons from Hr.WP encourage local and global communities to be more observant and resilient towards maintaining content integrity on Wikipedia projects.
ウィキメディア財団は調査結果の全文を公開して透明な文書概要※1をもたらし、これは単に Hr.WP ※2そのものばかりでなく UCoC 草稿委員会、他のコミュニティのプロジェクト群ならびにその他の関心を寄せる閲読者に益すると結論します。このところコミュニティ主導で実施したクロアチア語版ウィキペディアの変更はこの判定の示す見識や推奨事項のいくつかをすでに申し述べており、この点は当財団の信じるところであり外部専門家の同意を得ています。当財団はコミュニティと協働しこれらの推奨事項のいくつかを今後ウィキメディアのプラットフォームに取り入れコンテンツ統一性※3確保に努める所存です。（※：1＝transparent documentation overview。2＝Hr.WP。3＝content integrity。）
- File:Croatian WP Disinformation Assessment - Final Report EN.pdf - 英語
- File:Croatian WP Disinformation Assessment - Final Report - HR-HR.pdf - クロアチア語
- File:Croatian WP Disinformation Assessment - Final Report SR.pdf - セルビア語 (ローマ字表記)
- File:Croatian WP Disinformation Assessment - Final Report SR CYR.pdf - セルビア語 (キリル文字表記)