Operation Fake Info: firm used by French business elites suspected of infiltrating Wikipedia

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Mediapart has already revealed how a French firm that works for foreign directorships and the bosses of some of the biggest business groups in France, including billionaire Bernard Arnault, has been accused of manipulating information through various blogs, including on our own site. Today that same company, Avisa Partners, is suspected of having modified pages on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on behalf of its powerful clients. Fabrice Arfi and Antton Rouget report.

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It is a story that, potentially, involves the widespread contamination of online information. The economic intelligence company Avisa Partners, which provides services to foreign dictatorships and major firms listed on France's CAC 40 stock market, already stands accused of manipulating information on participative forums on French and foreign media, including Mediapart, as we reported in June (read in French here). Now the same firm is also suspected of having successfully infiltrated the online collaborative encyclopaedia Wikipedia, which is read by four million visitors a day in France alone. The reported aim is to change pages to secretly promote its clients or denigrate competitors.