Russian media outlet rewrites Wikipedia history in wake of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 disaster

Russia has been attempting to rewrite Wikipedia history after a Twitter bot caught one media outlet editing the Russian language entry covering Thursday’s catastrophic downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

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The bot noticed that the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company [VGTRK] had edited the MH17 entry in a Wikipedia article on aviation disasters.

"Wikipedia article List of aircraft accidents in civil aviation has been edited by RTR [another name for VGTRK],” read the Tweet, according to Wired.co.uk.

Initially the article stated that MH17 had been shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation," according to Global Voices.

This was then changed under an hour later by the Russian outlet with the amended words “the plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers”.

Wikipedia-edit battles are certainly nothing new with everyone from PR agencies, government figures and individuals caught editing Wikipedia entries across the globe in the past.

Already this year UK government workers have been accused of editing a variety of different Wikipedia pages with abuse relating to Muslims as well as victims of the Hillsborough stadium disaster in 1989. In that case hundreds of edits were made using two separate IP addresses related to government-owned machines and long passages of text were also removed by the same computers.

Western governments, including the UK, have levelled the blame on Russian-backed separatist rebels that control the area in which the plane was shot down and it is widely believed that a Buk surface-to-air missile provided by Russia fired the missile.

Related: Is it possible Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 was hijacked by cyber attack?

All 298 passengers and crew on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur perished and it’s the second disaster to affect the company this year after the mysterious disappearance of MH370 in March.