Wikipedia: A Disinformation Operation?

Swiss Propaganda Research – March 2020

Wikipedia is generally thought of as an open, transparent, and mostly reliable online encyclopedia. Yet upon closer inspection, this turns out not to be the case.

In fact, the English Wikipedia with its 9 billion worldwide page views per month is governed by just 500 active administrators, whose real identity in many cases remains unknown.

Moreover, studies have shown that 80% of all Wikipedia content is written by just 1% of all Wikipedia editors, which again amounts to just a few hundred mostly unknown people.

Obviously, such a non-transparent and hierarchical structure is susceptible to corruption and manipulation, the notorious paid editors hired by corporations being just one example.

Indeed, already in 2007, researchers found that CIA and FBI employees were editing Wikipedia articles on controversial topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo military prison.

Also in 2007, researchers found that one of the most active and influential English Wikipedia administrators, called “Slim Virgin”, was in fact a former British intelligence informer.

More recently, another highly prolific Wikipedia editor going by the false name of Philip Cross turned out to be linked to UK intelligence as well as several mainstream media journalists.

In Germany, one of the most aggressive Wikipedia editors was exposed, after a two-year legal battle, as a political operative formerly serving in the Israeli army as a foreign volunteer.

Even in Switzerland, unidentified government employees were caught whitewashing Wikipedia entries about the Swiss secret service just prior to a public referendum about the agency.

Many of these Wikipedia personae are editing articles almost all day and every day, indicating that they are either highly dedicated individuals, or in fact, operated by a group of people.

In addition, articles edited by these personae cannot easily be revised, since the above-mentioned administrators can always revert changes or simply block disagreeing users altogether.

The primary goal of these covert campaigns appears to be pushing Western and Israeli government positions while destroying the reputation of independent journalists and politicians.

Articles most affected by this kind of manipulation include political, geopolitical and certain historical topics as well as biographies of non-conformist academics, journalists, and politicians.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, a friend of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and a Young Leader of the Davos forum, has repeatedly defended these operations.

Speaking of Davos, Wikimedia has itself amassed a fortune of more than $160 million, donated in large part not by lazy students, but by major US corporations and influential foundations.

Moreover, US social media and video platforms are increasingly referring to Wikipedia to frame or combat “controversial” topics. The revelations discussed above may perhaps help explain why.

Already NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed how spooks manipulate online debates, and more recently, a senior Twitter executive turned out to be a British Army “psyops” officer.

To add at least some degree of transparency, German researchers have developed a free web browser tool called WikiWho that lets readers color code just who edited what in Wikipedia.

In many cases, the result looks as discomforting as one might expect.

Click to enlarge

Additional References


2 responses to “Wikipedia: A Disinformation Operation?”

  1. This is an important article. I would guess everyone of us uses Wikipedia with of course the usual caveats. For dates and non politically themed subjects its fine. I’ve read elsewhere that Soros is also a sponsor of the project.

    I happened to be looking up William Engdahl the other day after being impressed by his knowledge of geopolitics. This is what Wikipedia said of him:

    “Frederick William Engdahl (born August 9, 1944) is an American writer and conspiracy theorist based in Germany. He identifies himself as a “economic researcher, historian and freelance journalist. ”

    So straightaway we get the “conspiracy theorist” trope that we know is intended to discredit.

  2. …And further to my earlier post, I happened to look up Judah Benjamin, the Jewish Confederate States senator, referred to by Engdahl in his work. Apparently Benjamin was the only senior Confederate official to escape from the USA.

    His entry is quite interesting. Wiki seems to spin him in a positive manner as possible. We only learn three paragraphs in he was a slaveholder.

    And :
    “He left the presidential party and was successful in escaping from the mainland United States, but Davis was captured by Union troops. Benjamin sailed to Great Britain, where he settled and became a barrister, again rising to the top of his profession before retiring in 1883”

    I would imagine a gentile Confederate would have been said to “flee” and not to escape. I see the proud “rising to the top of his profession”. (Hooray for the Jews !)

    Still makes for an interesting read and perhaps a “Culture of Critique” case study. We learn he was also a “confederate” of Jewish prime minister Disraeli and a couple of the Rothschilds. Henry Ford and his “International Jew” certainly did make a very good point. And Wikipedia’s agenda is more evidence of this.