A discussion at the Wikipedia Reddit community yesterday noted that Google searches asking if China owns the disputed South China Sea prominently featured a result from the online encyclopedia parroting the Chinese government position that it “enjoys indisputable sovereignty” over the sea. Reddit users noted the line appeared to be taken from a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement quoted in the article, a fact not included in the Google snippet. The line was removed after the Reddit discussion brought it to attention.
This is only the latest case where Google’s prioritizing of Wikipedia for prominently displayed information has spread propaganda or falsehoods.
Numerous territorial disputes exist regarding the South China Sea, most significantly the dispute over the Spratly Islands. Several Southeast Asian countries as well as the communist Chinese government and the government on Taiwan (who each officially claim the islands as governments representing China) dispute control over some