Manipulation of Wikipedia

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Wikipedia is one of the Internet's most successful and praised projects in form of a public encyclopedia with very low hurdles for participation by "the average person". Due to the nature of how it works, in time there has developed a truism that states that the more controversial a topic is, the more Wikipedia will support the "common wisdom" and suppress or even deride views outside of what "the average person" believes. It's fine for looking up an eastern bird but maybe not so fine for looking up a western war. Which is one of the reasons why countless other wikis on special topics exist where the authors think their information is not treated fairly on Wikipedia. Just like the one you are reading now.

Recently it has come to surface that this main-streamlining is not just a natural process, but actively pursued by people in positions of power in the editorship. This page exists to collect these stories.

Philip Cross

Editor "Philip Cross" has over many years edited and dominated articles of anti-war activists and prominent left-wing figures in a negative way, and those of people in the establishment British media in a positive way. He had dozens of prominent establishment people among his under 200 twitter followers at the time of exposure and is actively defended by Wikipedia head Jimmy Wales.

On May 29 George Galloway claimed on his radio show (3 min snippet) that he has identified Philip Cross, who is "a vulnerable individual" of indeed that name who gets "manipulated by a powerful individual" who he claims to have identified as well, but doesn't name. Galloway says he tried to reach Cross by phone for 24 hours but nobody answers. Meanwhile, the German researchers mentioned below combed through Cross' Wikipedia account and found all kinds of details including that the man seems to suffer from Asperger syndrome. Using statistical tools, they determine that the one Wikipedia article Cross edited most often is indeed the one about George Galloway: 1799 edits by this single account.

German-language Wikipedia

In the German-language Wikipedia, which is the second-largest language version with over two million articles after the English-language one with over 5.5 million articles, very similar patterns of marginalization of activists and dissent from the "common wisdom" have been exposed as early as 2015. Two documentaries have been made about editors "Kopilot" and "Phi" who also spen(t/d) an enormous amount of energy to police and spin the articles of prominent alternative media personalities, and have similar connections to networks of mainstream influence and power.

In September 2018, Fiedler and former mainstream journalist and film maker Dirk Pohlmann exposed another very active and manipulative editor "Feliks" as a political activist close to the self-labeled "Anti-Germans" who converted to Judaism and volunteered in a program for foreigners in the Israeli military. "Feliks" sued the authors but lost in court in late February 2019, failing in his attempts to prevent them from exposing his identity in public.

Fiedler and Pohlmann have since started a video blog Geschichten aus Wikihausen (something like "Stories from Wikivillage") and run a supporting website Episode 32 is an English-language exchange of experiences with Investigator Helen Buyniski entitled Propaganda in Wikipedia from an international point of view:

In the 81st edition, released on March 2, 2023, they take a closer look at the curious history of the German-language article about Seymour Hersh since he published the article about his research on the destruction of the Nordsteam pipelines (German language, link goes to relevant timestamp).

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Cases of Article Manipulation