a graphic of the Wikipedia article "The Holocaust in Poland" with a magnifying glass superimposed on it
An academic study found that a dedicated group has for some 15 years manipulated Wikipedia in ways that lay blame for the Holocaust on Jews and absolve Poland of almost any responsibility for its record of antisemitism. (JTA illustration)

Wikipedia disciplines editors in Holocaust distortion dispute but sidesteps debate over Polish complicity

(JTA) — Wikipedia has banned three editors from working on articles related to Jewish history in Poland during World War II, in a bid to resolve editing disputes and safeguard its credibility.

But the online encyclopedia stopped short of taking more aggressive action in response to allegations of widespread Holocaust distortion on the platform. 

The decision, handed down Saturday, concludes more than two months of deliberation by Wikipedia’s Arbitration Committee, which acts as Supreme Court over the community of volunteers who edit the website. 

The Arbitration Committee had opened an investigation in response to an unprecedented academic study concluding that a group of editors had gamed Wikipedia’s rules to introduce content that absolves Poland of blame for antisemitism and Jewish suffering during the Holocaust, in line with the ultranationalist view prevailing in the country. 

Asaf Elia-Shalev

JTA correspondent