Misinformation has become the curse of the modern era. It is becoming challenging to spot fake news and misinformation with the passage as the most rational platforms can even post misleading news. A similar scam was spotted on Wikipedia by a Chinese author regarding the medieval history of Russia. Zhemao is a Chinese national and housewife who wrote this false information on Wikipedia.
Chinese Wikipedia has a sizable collection of thorough and reliable articles on medieval Russia. According to Vice World News, Zhemao has written 206 pieces for the website since 2019, the longest of which is almost as long as The Great Gatsby. It included a map of the nation of that time and described Tartar uprisings in the 17th century. The poster included rare pictures of antique Russian coins. The blogs she provided were so well-written and well-liked, which made it pretty difficult to discover that she had perpetrated one of the biggest frauds ever seen on the platform,
Chinese Housewife Spent Years Writing False Russian Medieval History on Wikipedia
The scam was exposed by Chinese author Yifan in a post on a website similar to Quora. While doing research for a new book, Yifan came across one of her articles that described a silver mine that was a source of wealth for Russia in the 14th and 15th centuries. According to reports, the paper was so thorough that it contained details about the soil’s makeup, the mine’s layout, and the silver’s refining procedures. However, Yifan discovered that the pages or versions of the books Zhemao cited didn’t even exist when she attempted to fact-check her sources with Russian speakers.
In response, a team of volunteer editors went through her work and discovered that either her citations weren’t accurate. Zhemao confessed that she was fabricating details in a post on her profile as well. She admitted that she does not reside in Russia and that her husband is Chinese, not Russian. She also doesn’t possess the global history doctorate she claimed she did from Moscow State University; instead, she is a homemaker with a high school diploma. According to Vice’s analysis of her post, she expressed frustration about her inability to grasp material written in both English and Russian. It appears that she used web translators to comprehend online articles before using her imagination to fill in the blanks.
It is unclear why she didn’t simply create a book set in medieval Russia, which would have likely been popular based on the fact that Yifan and her other editors commended her contributions for being informative and well-written. She might have to hunt for a new platform for her work, though, as Zhemao and her sock puppets had been permanently banned from the website.