Last edited on 09/06/22
I was a college student when Trump was elected in 2016. This was the peak of the proliferation and effectiveness of mis- and disinformation. Misinformation is incorrect information and disinformation is intentionally incorrect information which aims to influence the reader in a particular direction. I’ve been interested in propaganda ever since, especially as it pertains to the rise of right wing ideology in the United States and India (India because I’m Indian-American). From 2017-2020 I worked at a news company to better understand how to deliver factual, trustworthy, and unbiased news to the public. Today I work at the best place on earth (The Wikimedia Foundation) and everyday I get to design and build technology that helps keep alive free knowledge.
I’m currently doing part time work for the moderator tools team and refreshing the UI for mobile diffs. More on that later.
I was looking through random diffs while working on a refresh for mobile diffs and was noticing how helpful diffs are in tracking disinformation. For example on the Aishwarya article someone had changed the meaning of the name ‘Aishwarya’ to “baby porcupine” (it means prosperity and wealth) so in the view history you can see the disinformation marked as a
disruptive edit. So then I went to the more controversial Recession article and was looking at disruptive edits there and as you can see, diffs are key in the workflow of tracking, flagging, and undoing disinformation. Pretty neat!