The Weaponization of Wikipedia

The egregious vandalism and misuse of my biography page by Wikipedia agenda editors continues.

I understand that cases like this matter little except to those who are libeled. However, I would argue that they are important to the extent they represent what’s going on across the increasingly-troubled Wikipedia platform.

Wikipedia has been “weaponized.”

Anonymous political and special interests control pages on behalf of paid clients. Devoted ideologues use their authority on Wikipedia to censor and controversialize ideas with which they disagree. There are attacks, libel, biases, false information and censorship.

In my instance, the Wikipedia editors have violated multiple Wikipedia policies over the years governing matters such as neutrality, libel and attribution.

And there’s nothing anybody can do about it.

The well-meaning Wikipedia editors– and there are many– are simply outwitted and overpowered by the bad guys.

As I have reported and discussed these matters publicly, anonymous Wikipedia agenda editors controlling my biographical page have mounted a campaign to attack me beyond my Wikipedia page.

“To put it bluntly, this is unacceptable behavior,” wrote a Wikipedia agenda editor in discussing my public objections to the false information and slander on my Wikipedia biographical page. “…some action needs to be taken.”  (Toa Nidhiki05 01:52, 9 June 2019 (UTC))

Wikipedia editors have long been known to track down, troll and attack those who criticize them.

As I reported in my Full Measure investigation, some Wikipedia editors have even gotten together and tracked down personal details about someone they don’t like, figuring out where they travel, what they do in their spare time, and where they work– even calling their boss on the phone to try to get them in trouble. No kidding.

Not long after the “something must be done” threat against me by the Wikipedia editor, additional false and biased information was edited onto my Wikipedia biographical page, an attack blog was published against me, and Wikipedia interests came after me on Twitter.

The Twitter attackers included a Wikipedia editor @wikigamaliel who calls himself “Gamaliel@ALA” on Twitter.

@Wikigamaliel proceeded to state that he knows “how I feel” and “what I think” about certain topics based on my Twitter followers, whom he called “nutty.” (He received a “like” from @Wikimedia UK regarding his “nutty” comment about my followers. These are Wikipedia’s supposedly neutral arbiters of information.)

When some Twitter users then flagged extensive hate, profanity and bias in @Wikigamaliel’s recent Tweets on many subjects, he deleted some of the Tweets and blocked the users.

But he’s still editing away on my Wikipedia biographical page and, presumably, many others.

The Talk Pages

Wikipedia’s “talk” pages are arcane, to be sure, but they can provide a window into the bias, twisted justifications, and mangled logic used by Wikipedia agenda editors to make sure false and biased information stays on a page… and fair, truthful information is censored.

This is where matters of controversy are supposedly arbitrated and settled. Instead, it’s the place where the agenda editors band together and play games to beat back attempts to change their will.

Read Wikipedia’s Sharyl Attkisson “Talk” page

For example, when I politely inquired on the “talk” page as to why someone had deleted my most recent Emmy nominations and awards, it launched a tortuous month long debate among the Wikipedia agenda editors and some well-meaning editors.

In the end, the discussion ended with: paralysis. The Wikipedia editors decided there was so much disagreement over this simple, easily-resolved point, that nothing should be changed. Of course, that was the goal all along of the agenda editors. They made sure there was a protracted discussion and no “consensus.” Without “consensus,” the edit will not be permitted.

(As an aside, the reason the awards I asked about were deleted is because they fight the Wikipedia agenda editors’ attempts to falsely portray me and my reporting as “conservative”; the awards included a daytime Emmy award and a news Emmy award for my undercover investigation into Republican fundraising.)

There are other awards and citations the Wikipedia agenda editors will not allow because the awards and citations disprove the false narrative that I am “anti-vaccine” or unscientific in my reporting.

The Absurd

And then there’s simply the absurd.

One lengthy discussion about me on Wikipedia’s talk page (attached to my biography) actually involved why it was supposedly okay to attribute a direct quote to me, though I had never said it.

After all, said the Wikipedia agenda editors, Snopes reported I said it, so even though I didn’t say it, it is okay to claim that I said it.

“It’s all the same,” claimed Wikipedia’s agenda editors.

Another absurd discussion among the Wikipedia editors controlling my biographical page talked about how they could tell how “I feel” based on items I retweet.

Yet I’m pretty sure the Wikipedia agenda editors realize that people often retweet items with which they disagree or on which they have formed no particular opinion. In fact, I often retweet items that are contrary to one another, so it’s difficult to understand how a sincere Wikipedia editor could claim to glean my “feelings” because of them. My twitter profile even explicitly states that retweets do not imply agreement.

Watch “The Dark Side of Wikipedia,” a Full Measure investigation

And when I politely pointed out to Wikipedia editors an item of low hanging fruit that needed correcting– the false birth place they had listed for me– it unleashed a torrent of attacks and speculation by the uniformed Wikipedia editors such as “Why would she deny where she was born?”

Clearly I’m up to something nefarious.

In other words, Wikipedia editors will unskeptically rely on false, published information from strangers for no other reason than– well, it’s published– but then express unabashed suspicion of the source herself providing facts and offering documentary proof.

As Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger noted after separating himself from his original creation: Wikipedia is “broken beyond repair.”

Today’s status quo is a system whereby Wikipedia editors can make every kind of false claim and libelous accusation about someone they’ve never met, but go on the attack when the false information and bias are exposed.

What do you think? Leave your comments on this page.

Read the “Sharyl Attkisson Talk page” on Wikipedia by clicking the link below. Warning: you’re entering a world where reason and logic are turned on its head.

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23 thoughts on “The Weaponization of Wikipedia”

  1. You wrote:
    “In other words, Wikipedia editors will unskeptically rely on false, published information from strangers for no other reason than– well, it’s published”

    That’s the whole story. Wikipedia once had a reputation of being an organic encyclopedia and relying on “the wisdom of the crowds”. It is now, very explicitly, simply a distillation of mainstream media articles. It could be called, “PullQuoteAPedia”.

    So if people think that Fox/CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS et al are “fake news”, then Wikipedia is, as well, because it is 100% sourced upon them and similar establishment information.

    And, just like in the mainstream media Wikipedia summarizes, there’s a fanatical pro-establishment bias. On issues of SCIENCE!, such as vaccination and global warming, not only are edits critical of the elites deleted instantly, but the posters get IP-banned, as well.

    I only spent a few weeks attempting to contribute back around 2011. But when I was IP banned for making some edits to the 9/11 page, I felt more relieved than insulted. It’s just a crappy sight for conformist hacks.

  2. Try instead which is forked and is better moderated and was designed to be SJW free alternative.

    You are on Gab (where I saw the link). Why not update your Infogalactic page and recommend that site as an alternative.?

    1. Infogalactic suffers from two major problems. The first is that they forked the whole of Wikipedia, but don’t have anything like the numbers required to maintain that much data. Huge numbers of articles are now up to three years out of date, and falling further behind. The second is more relevant to this discussion: Infogalactic has the ability for vested interests to purchase special rights to control topics they are interested in. If we’re worried about astroturfing on Wikipedia, imagine what it would be like if companies could purchase control over whole topics.

  3. The only alternative is to create new platforms built on the foundation of truth and free speech. Ultimately those will dominate and economics will prevail.

  4. Thank you for all the fine work you do. I neither use Wikipedia (there are better alternatives), and only occasionally read the mainstream media, to see what they’re up to. The propaganda operation here is much more subtle than Pravda ever was, so it is more difficult to detect, but it infects most official pronouncements, and much of the news, as well as the way history is written and taught. We all have biases, of course, but we must make an honest effort to recognize and minimize them when formulating statements we purport to be truthful.

  5. I’ve been defending you on your Wiki bio via Dissenter.

    Of course, you can only read it with Dissenter.

    It’s almost tautological to say that the more who use Dissenter the weaker the power of the agenda editors.

    Dissenter is a Gab product. Gab is a free speech site that includes a lot of offensive stuff. Some will say that the offensive stuff makes it racist or Nazi or something and cite the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter who posted on Gab.

    I’ll just note that the New Zealand mosque shooter streamed his murder live on Facebook. and that Twitter has been found to be almost a pawn of the Saudi royal family. That’s kind of worse.

  6. We all must read, or reread, Mr. Orwell’s 1984. More importantly, the electorate better become aware before it’s too late. But then the vision of the human being is so near sighted.

  7. Wikipedia has little credibility, worse for me than main stream media, which is low. Sharyl, what has become of our society ? The “legitimate” are distained (sic) and ridiculed; no source is immune nor respected ; no one is “right”; no one is “wrong”. We only have our own compass to judge events and therefore our own responsibility to accept those outcomes. I’m truly saddened by the state of false and incomplete information flow, agendas, personal/horrible personal attacks by those self appointed righteous goons who think they are needed by humanity. I respect your efforts and applaud your tenacity.

  8. Agreed. Any politicized topic on Wikipedia is likely to have been edited into nothing more than propaganda, and increasingly, almost every topic has been politicized. In 2015, I noted on my blog their recursive citations of Snopes, with Snopes then citing Wikipedia for the same entry, on the subject of coins issued without the national motto.

    The amount of discussion and silly argument about your place of birth is extraordinary, especially given that Wikipedia seems to almost by policy omit “place of birth” for most people, including immigrants (whose citizenship status is conspicuously absent). I’ve also noticed a relatively new pattern of omitting info about current place of residence.

    I recall when the living subject of a Wikipedia profile was given respect and a vast amount of leeway in final approval of their own page. Obviously, this has changed, and the rules no longer apply equally across the board. Your place of birth info should have immediately been corrected without question when you informed them, and your own statement should be deemed a sufficiently accurate “source” for citation.

    I used to cite Wikipedia but rarely do these days. I look for more reliable sources. Those old Wiki links sometimes now go to pages where the original facts have been erased or “nuanced’, and one must find the Talk page to locate the old version. It is enlightening on almost any topic to go back in “View History” , choose a revision date and select “Previous” to see what was changed. On such pages, one can view the page as it was at the time it was cited.

  9. Yes, I have dealt with Gamalial back in 2005. I;m still an editor in good standing, but very inactive. I can vote in elections, and have been through Arbitration. I was present back in 2005 when Wikipedia began it’s Biography of Living Persons policy, closely related to my Arbitration case. In 2017, I assisted in try to delete the “Bowling Greeen terror attack” page, which is an ahistorical event created as an attack page to ridicule a living person (Kellyanne Conway) – a complete violation of BLP. It’s hopeless, unless you are ready to go to Arbitration litigation. And you need friends, tag teamers, Administrators the higher up the “cabal” the better.

  10. > Wikipedia editors will unskeptically rely on false, published information from strangers for no other reason than– well, it’s published– but then express unabashed suspicion of the source herself providing facts and offering documentary proof.

    Wikipedia has a major design problem which they can’t fix. On a traditional encyclopedia, the authors are experts – we know we can trust them because we trust their expertise. On Wikipedia the authors are generally anonymous contributors, at best identified by an unverified user name. This means that we can’t trust their expertise, and it would make it very easy to introduce false claims – even extending to libel – simply because if they were trusted, the additions would be accepted blindly. To get around this they insist on verification. Because they can’t trust the people who submit content to Wikipedia, they choose to trust the editorial processes that generated that content. Mostly this works: CNN, the New York Times, peer-reviewed academic publications, and the like have editorial processes which (generally) work to keep incorrect information out. Occasionally, though, they fail, and then Wikipedia is stuck.

    You would think that information from the source would be better, such as when you tell them where you are born. But then they run into two problems. The first is that it is very difficult to confirm who someone is on Wikipedia. There are situations where someone claims to be an expert or the subject to try to get false information into Wikipedia, and if all they have is an IP address or random username there is no means to confirm that the person really is who they claim to be. The second is a standard issue with conflicts of interest – while it is stupid to think there is normally an issue with something like where someone was born, it is possible for someone to claim awards they didn’t win. So for anything serious, they need independent sources to verify the claims.

    And then, of course, there is the problem of people who push rules over common sense. More than anything, I wish that sometimes they would step back and just admit that they can fix something without forcing people to go through some incredibly complex process.

    With all that said, Wikipedia mostly works, and it isn’t as if problems don’t exist with all of the other models. It is just that the problems are so hard to get around on Wikipedia, and Wikipedia is now so dominant that the effect of those problems is magnified.

  11. Thank you for this article. I rely on your excellent reporting. I don’t bother reading Wikipedia. I only go there for things like, “what does the flag of Yemen look like”, or, “how many cups in a quart”.

  12. It started out as a good idea.
    Unfortunately it has been corrupted by those with an agenda.
    Most Americans put their blind faith it not only Wikipedia, but other questionable sources, like Snoopes. They never stop and think, or question the veracity of the information.
    Just, “It is on Wikipedia! It must be true!”

  13. I read Sharyl Attkisson’s Stonewalled and The Smear (both excellent!) and have followed her writings wherever I see them. I am more alert to Wikipedia as a result of her work and agree with her about the bias at Wikipedia. I have two examples.
    First, today’s Wikipedia has 74 references for the esteemed Thomas Sowell who has been offering conservative opinion for over five decades. It has 194 references (all posted in 2018 and 2019) for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has been on the stage less than two years and offers opinions to fire up her base that are often not well founded.
    Second, I noticed during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings that the unsubstantiated details offered by his accusers were immediately written into Wikipedia while the solid record of his opinions over twelve years as a Circuit Judge was hardly covered at all.
    Message to Wikipedia editors — We see through what you are doing particularly in the area of politics.

  14. Well, I don’t really use Wiki either. Or if I do it would be for some general info. Reason and truth are being beaten to the ground today. Ideology is the culprit, not to mention weak personalities and cowardice. Google is another untrustworthy source. Hell, I posted a highly critical cartoon on my site a few months ago on Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, and it does not appear at all when I search CH images on Google.. Now and then some of my cartoons will appear when I do searches on other “targets.” People in positions of power enhance their buffered walls against outside criticism. Anyhow, SA is a great warrior! Good luck on your Wiki and Big Gov battles. Battling against the academic/literary establishment is what I do.
    G. Tod Slone,

  15. The Wikimedia Foundation just banned a long-time administrator for allegedly sexually harassing one or more Wikipedia editors, so I think you should consider reporting to them Gamalial’s harrassment of you over Twitter. It might at least get him and some of the other bad actors to leave your bio alone. Their contact information is:

  16. I’ve also reported 2 established admins abusing their tools to the “highest authority” on the English wikipedia (Arbitration Committee). It’s the 3rd week since the report, with only 3 useless responses. So far, it seems they are protecting the “high profile” admins. The WMF Trust and Safety team also received these reports, but did not answer yet… It seems there are great powers at work in the background.
    The last attack was to escalate the block to sockpuppetry allegations. by claiming abuse use of an old account.
    Proof of legit use of (inactive) account, timeline of event, and the full correspondence with ArbCom:

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