The Ministry of Education turned on Wikipedia again because of Minister Abraham Weintraub’s entry. In an e-mail sent on Tuesday (13), the MEC stated that it would adopt “appropriate legal measures” if it did not have a response to its request to release the page.
According to the ministry, the blockade that had been imposed on the entry prevented Weintraub from “exercising his right to ample defense and the adversary.” The MEC argued that the page contains misinformation about “contingency” and the personal life of the minister.
In the message, the agency gave a period of 5 days to receive the position on the release of the Weintraub entry and thus not to go to court. The edit block was created by a user on July 25th and would be valid until August 25th.
The measure was adopted under the justification of “excessive vandalism”, when there is an edition that compromises the quality of the entry. The threat of prosecution was sent to Rodrigo Padula, one of the Portuguese Wikipedia administrators.
In response to the ministry, Padula claimed to have removed the edit block on the page and explained that Wikipedia has rules created by volunteers. The site community advises that editions avoid conflicts of interest and use reliable and verifiable sources.
The message also indicates that if the MEC edits the entry without following the rules, the changes will be reversed or eliminated by other editors. He also made himself available to explain the operation of the platform to the Ministry of Education team.
To TecnoblogPadula explained that he removed the block because he understood that the other user’s decision was unnecessary, and not because of the ministry’s message. Even so, he criticizes the “pressure from the Brazilian State against the project”.
For Padula, while there is a lack of knowledge about the dynamics of Wikipedia, there is an attempt to censor the platform, keeping only the information that is of interest to the minister.
“But Wikipedia does not work like that, it is an open, collaborative encyclopedia, anyone can add a biography with relevant subjects about the biography, of course, as long as it is based on verifiable and reliable sources”, he says.
This is not the first time that the Ministry of Education has had a conflict with Wikipedia. In July, the folder asked us to delete Weintraub’s page on the platform because it understood that it contained “unconfirmed information”.
At the time, the MEC also complained about the “impossibility of editing” and stated that the text could lead to “dubious interpretations”. Weintraub’s entry was created on April 8, after his appointment to the position to replace Ricardo Vélez Rodriguez.
In the last 90 days, the page records 77,100 visits and usually has between 300 and 1,200 daily visits. Only on July 4, the date of the repercussion of the request made by the MEC, the entry recorded about 23 thousand visits.
The Ministry of Education was contacted by the Tecnoblog, but did not take a position until the publication of this post.