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Despite international and local outcry, the controversial “Protection of State Information Bill”, more commonly referred to the “secrecy bill”, has taken its first steps to becoming law. Opponents of the proposed law have promised to continue fighting it tooth and nail. That fight was, once again, taken online with the Wikipedia page of the African National Congress (ANC) having been “wikibombed”.
Wikibombing, as the Urban Dictionary defines it, is “The act of intentionally going on Wikipedia and putting false information about a topic, OR, completely destroying the article all together.” Probably the most memorable example of wikibombing was 2010’s “Wanky Balls Festival” controversy.
The ANC is certainly no stranger to cyber-protests by cyber-attack, particularly given the fact that the website of the party’s controversial youth arm, the ANC Youth League, has suffered multiple hacks (see here and here). To Memeburn’s knowledge, however, this is the first time that this form of cyber-protesting has been employed against the party.
Using the same style as one of the most popular posts from when South Africans took to social media to protest the secrecy bill,
the section on criticism of the ANC, had tracts of text “censored”.
Click on image for a better view
By the time a screengrab of the page edits hit Twitter, where it is being shared with much glee, the page had been re-edited to remove the black-outs. Looking at the discussion tab of the page one can see that the page is hotly contested with some comments calling it “propaganda written by a third grader,” “one-sided,” and “having two main editors who are both ANC supporters”.
Due to the ANC using its sizeable parliamentary majority to push the controversial bill through parliament, the ANC has faced condemnation from many including Nobel laureates Nadine Gordimer and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Many of the critiques on the ANC’s actions have stated that the formerly famed liberation party, has abandoned the principles of its former leaders including celebrated international figure of peace and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela.
The day the bill was passed, struggle stalwarts office put out a statement which was characterised as “slamming” the bill.