Intelligence agencies have a long history of using propaganda as a tool of war, and the effectiveness of information warfare radically improved with the emergence of the internet, to say nothing of artificial intelligence and social media.
If you’re over 50, you can probably remember a time when your family had a row of encyclopedias on the bookshelf — usually obtained at considerable cost — which were perused whenever you needed to learn more about a particular topic.
Today, you can’t even give a complete set of encyclopedias away because, well, we have Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia has also become a favored propaganda tool, so to call it unreliable would be an understatement.
According to Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger — who left Wikipedia in 2002, the year after its inception — U.S. intelligence has been manipulating the online encyclopedia since at least 2008, if not longer. Sanger recently sat down to speak with independent journalist Glenn Greenwald (video above) about the subversion of the site he helped create.1
The Blatant Bias of Wikipedia
Sanger says he noticed a bias creeping in around 2006, particularly in areas of science and medicine. Around 2010, he started noticing that articles about Eastern Medicine were being changed to reflect blatantly biased positions, using “dismissive epithets” to paint this ancient tradition as quackery.
In 2012, evidence also emerged revealing a Wikipedia trustee and “Wikipedian in Residence” were being paid to edit pages on behalf of their clients and secure their placement on Wikipedia’s front page in the “Did You Know” section,2 which publicizes new or expanded articles3 — a clear violation of Wikipedia rules.
“It really got over the top … between 2013 and 2018,” Sanger says, “and by by at the time Trump became president, it was almost as bad as it is now. It’s amazing, you know, no encyclopedia, to my knowledge, has ever been as biased as Wikipedia has been …
I remember being mad about Encyclopedia Britannica and The World Book not mentioning my favorite topics, [and] presenting only certain points of view in a way that establishment sources generally do. But this is something else. This is entirely different. It’s over the top.”
Greenwald agrees, highlighting some recent examples of the “over the top” kind of establishment bias, such as Wikipedia simply declaring that the Ukraine-Biden scandal is a conspiracy theory designed to undermine Biden:
“The very first sentence reads: ‘The Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory is a series of false allegations that Joe Biden, while he was Vice President of the United States, engaged in corrupt activities relating to his son, Hunter Biden, who was on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.’
‘As part of efforts by Donald Trump and his campaign in the Trump–Ukraine scandal, which led to Trump’s first impeachment, these falsehoods were spread in an attempt to damage Joe Biden’s reputation and chances during the 2020 presidential campaign,’ the Wikipedia entry still reads.
So, notice: The Biden-Ukraine scandal is — according to Wikipedia — the ‘Biden–Ukraine conspiracy theory’ but the Trump controversy involving Ukraine is ‘the Trump–Ukraine scandal’. Everything is written to comport with the liberal world view and the Democratic Party talking points.”
Wikipedia’s treatment of all things COVID-related is equally skewed. It presents only the establishment’s “truth” across the board, no matter how much evidence there is to refute it.
‘Truth’ Has Been Married to Ideology
“Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia devoted to truth,” Greenwald says. The problem is that “The premise seems to be that you don’t have truth anymore independent of ideological outlook.”…