Astroturf And Wikipedia

      17 Comments on Astroturf And Wikipedia

Remember the kerfuffle when a rogue editor at Wikipedia targeted Fat Head for deletion? He was, you’ll recall, the same editor who deleted articles about Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov, Jimmy Moore, and pretty much anyone who recommends low-carb diets or disputes the Lipid Hypothesis.

In the video post I put up earlier this week, I included a snip from a TED talk given by Sharyl Attkinsson, a former CBS reporter who’s been writing and speaking regularly about fake news, Astroturf campaigns, etc.  (I just bought her book The Smear on In the full speech, she talks about what’s wrong with Wikipedia.  Jump ahead to about 3:50 in the speech if you don’t want to watch the whole thing.

Anonymous Wikipedia editors control and co-opt pages on behalf of special interests. They forbid and reverse edits that go against their agenda. They skew and delete information in blatant violation of Wikipedia’s own established policies with impunity.

Yup, sounds about right.

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17 thoughts on “Astroturf And Wikipedia

  1. Bret

    Having attained unprecedented success, Wikipedia has sold its founding principles down the river. Sadly common tale.

    1. chris c

      Interestingly Jimmy Wales is on the board of The Guardian aka Vegan Central.

      I wonder how much he sees making Wikipedia into Mainstream media as echoing the dogma of the Guardian (which used to be an excellent source of news but is no longer.)

  2. Firebird7478

    Amber Lyon and Greg Hunter are two former CNN correspondents who have been touting the same thing.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Glad to know there are still some actual journalists who are outraged by what’s happening.

  3. Benjamin David Steele

    That is extremely worrying. But sadly, it is also entirely unsurprising. This kind of manipulative behavior has apparently become the norm. And in many cases, it surely is being funded by powerful interests.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m listening to her book now. The manipulation is as bad as you think it is.

  4. Judy B

    Yesterday, my hubby had a test at a local clinic. I was using their WiFi and tried to go on to your site. I got a message that was forbidden to do that there, so I went to cellular. Success!
    This kind of censorship is appalling…

  5. Lori Miller

    Great video–thanks for posting this. However, if you’re going to Facebook for facts and Twitter for unbiased opinions, I’m not sure you can be helped.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Which makes it all the more sad that so many journalists considered social media comments a legitimate source.

      1. Tom Welsh

        Their argument would presumably be that social media provides an easy way of gathering “vox pop” opinions. A kind of cut-price opinions poll.

        Of course astroturfing sees that argument coming and elaborately bushwhacks it.

  6. Steven

    Abd ul-Rahman Lomax was globally banned on Wikipedia and he has recently filed a lawsuit against the Wikimedia Foundation. You can read about it on Jimmy Wales talk-page, you may find this interesting.

    There is talk about Abd being a known impersonator. I believe Lomax is the same person who created your RationalWiki page. He has a history of trying to start flame wars for people, and he was the first to try and start a war between low-carbers and vegans in relation to the Malcolm Kendrick business on Wikipedia. You may have a different take on this, but this guy Abd is trouble.

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