Although an individual should know better than to trust Wikipedia as a reliable source, we can’t deny the fact that a huge amount of people still rely on the website for gathering information.
We all know how it works – it can be edited by anyone because it is run by a volunteer-based system. Only by reporting a page is it able to freeze any edits from being made.
However, in the words of the president of Wikimedia Philippines and Wikipedia volunteer, Josh Lim: “While people may rail on about Wikipedia being unreliable and our defenders claiming otherwise, you can’t deny that for a very large number of people, they will rely on Wikipedia as much as they would the evening news or a major newspaper or magazine.”
Recently, there have been reports of several revisions on the “Martial Law in the Philippines” page, as well as other Marcos-related pages in Wikipedia.
According to a Facebook post by Charmagne Cruz, over 200 revisions were made this year, more than a 100 of which were carried out last November.
Cases of which include but are not limited to:
“1. No mention of Marcos the dictator. Just a president who tried to do the best for his country. The billions stolen, the deaths, tortures, no mention.
2. Discrediting Primitivo Mijares was one of the latest edits.
3. Quotes are mainly partial to Marcos: “Economic reforms suddenly became possible under martial law. The powerful opponents of reform were silenced and the organized opposition was also quilted. In the past, it took enormous wrangling and preliminary stage managing of political forces before a piece of economic reform legislation could even pass through Congress. Now it was possible to have the needed changes undertaken through presidential decree. Marcos wanted to deliver major changes in an economic policy that the government had tried to propose earlier.”
4. Economic data inaccurate: According to World Bank Date, the Philippines’ GDP quadrupled from $8 billion in 1972 to $32.45 billion in 1980.  Indeed, according to the US based Heritage Foundation, the Philippines enjoyed its best economic development since 1945 between 1972 and 1979.”
She also posted what she thought was the original Wikipedia page about the conjugal dictatorship.
Miko Balisi also pointed out recent edits, as well as an edit found in Ferdinand Marcos’ Wikipedia page.
In light of recent events, Scout Magazine held an interview with Lim to discuss this incident wherein he relays that he has not been able to take the time yet to analyze the page but is well aware that significant changes are happening.
“The Marcoses are a controversial topic on Wikipedia, prone to edits by people who want to advance an agenda. In an environment where we have an openly pro-Marcos government and a lot of misinformation going around, it’s possible that pro-Marcos editors are emboldened to edit Wikipedia to fit their point of view.” Lim adds, “Good thing though that people are paying attention and are working to stop them.”
Lim identifies this occurrence as an edit war and admits that “Wikipedia editors are likewise afraid of the damage a wave of pro-Marcos edits can do.”
Despite complaints against Wikipedia’s reliability, Lim claims its “semi-official position” as a “great initial resource” and holds the responsibility in providing assurance that society is well-informed as the project’s objective.
Although Lim can’t hastily identify these acts as historical revisionism, he believes it is necessary to be careful in analyzing their edits and is grateful that every information in Wikipedia needs to be backed up by sources and facts. Hence, any edit with unreliable sources, such as blog posts, or no sources at all and does not match up with historical records, “then I think we know what that is,” says Lim.